DECATUR, Tenn. (WATE) — A day after the fatal bus crash in which the bus driver and a 7-year-old girl were killed, Meigs County School System officials hosted a press conference at Meigs County High School on Wednesday afternoon.
On Tuesday around 3:45 p.m., authorities responded to the crash involving the school bus and a service electric truck on Highway 58. The initial Tennessee Highway Patrol investigation revealed that the bus had been heading south on Hwy. 58 and the service truck had been heading north, when the service truck driver lost control, overcorrected, and skidded into the oncoming bus’s lane.
The bus driver and one child, identified only as a 7-year-old girl by THP, were killed. Seven students ranging from elementary-school age to high-school age were injured. Officials on Wednesday afternoon said 32 children and the bus driver were on board the bus, 10 more students than initially reported at the time of the wreck.
According to Meigs County School System director Clint Baker, of the seven students injured in the crash, four students are in stable condition and remain in the hospital Wednesday; with one student listed last night in critical condition is now stable.
There was no additional information on the service truck driver or the investigation into the crash.
Baker said the school district was grateful for the support from other area school districts, from the state Department of Education as well as Meigs County staff and faculty. Students were on remote learning Wednesday, Baker said, with crisis response teams to be available for support for students, staff and bus drivers on Thursday.
“We’ve got a hurt school community and we’re going to need everybody’s prayers and support,” Baker said.
“You know, everyone’s hearts and minds and thoughts and prayers are with the families and children of the affected. And especially those that lost loved ones. We ask that, as we have in the last 18 hours or so we ask that folks pray that God’s grace — his amazing grace and his love and comfort surround those families.”
Any donations can be made to the United Way of McMinn-Meigs Counties to assist the families from the tragedy, according to Baker.
A community candlelight vigil is being held Wednesday night at the Meigs County Fairgrounds pavilion at 7 p.m.
This is a developing story that will be updated with Wednesday’s updates and events related to the fatal bus crash.
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