Girl, 7, and Driver Killed in Tennessee School Bus Crash, Several More Injured

October 28, 2020 Updated: October 28, 2020

At least two people have been killed after a school bus carrying children was involved in a serious crash on Tuesday in Tennessee, officials said.

A 7-year-old girl and her bus driver were killed after the school bus collided with a utility service vehicle at 7751 State Highway 58 in Meigs County, about an hour northeast of Chattanooga. Their identities have not been released by officials.

Five other children were injured in the accident, with one in critical condition, police said. They were being treated at Chattanooga’s Children’s Hospital at Erlange. There were 22 passengers on the bus at the time of the crash, officials said.

The Tennessee Highway Patrol announced on Twitter that it is investigating the double fatality crash.

At the time of the crash, the school bus was transporting the children home. The utility service vehicle reportedly ran into the bus head-on after swerving into the southbound lane.

A student who was on the bus at the time of the accident told News4 Nashville that there was a “big bang” and “everybody was just screaming.”

“There were people laying on the floor, glass everywhere,” the student said.

The driver of the utility vehicle, from Service Electric, is being treated for minor injuries, The Associated Press reported.

In a statement, the Tennessee Department of Education extended its condolences to the families of those involved in the collision.

“I and the entire staff at the Tennessee Department of Education are deeply saddened to hear about the fatal bus crash in Meigs County earlier this afternoon. No words can express our sympathies for those lives that were lost,” said Tennessee Education Commissioner Penny Schwinn.

“We send our deepest condolences to the students, families, school staff and leaders, district staff, and the entire Meigs County community affected by this tragic accident and wish healing for all those injured. The department has communicated with district leaders and staff in Meigs County and surrounding areas and is mobilizing to support this community in safety response and services.”

“I’m deeply saddened to hear the news coming out of Meigs County this evening about a serious school bus crash,” Chattanooga Mayor Andy Berke posted on Twitter. “My thoughts are with these children and their families. Until we have more information, we will hope for the best and keep them in our prayers.”