A fiery crash on I-40 near Knoxville, Tenn., Wednesday involving a tractor trailer, an SUV, and a bus from a North Carolina Church has killed at least eight people and injured 14.
WBIR reported that six bus passengers died
along with a person in the tractor trailer, and one in an SUV. Four of the injured were airlifted to hospitals.
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The deadly accident occurred around 2 p.m. The bus was heading east on I-40 near mile marker 423 when the left front tire blew, according to reports. It crossed the median, careened into a tractor trailer and clipped a Tahoe SUV that was heading west. The tractor trailer caught fire and the bus rolled over.
Twenty ambulances and five helicopters arrived at the site.
The bus was carrying members of Stateville’s Front Street Baptist Church returning from a visit and tour of Gatlinburg, Tenn., The Associated Press reported
The members onboard were senior citizens, part of the church's Young at Heart group, said NBC News
"They had been there and they were on their way home today," said Dionne Stutts, wife of Front Street Baptist Senior Pastor Tim Stutts, according to the AP. "We are devastated and just ask for the people to be praying."
The church is about 140 miles east of the crash site. Stutts said she, her husband, and another pastor were headed to the scene.
Interstate 40 was closed in both directions at mile marker 423 in Jefferson County and traffic is being rerouted. It was expected to reopen around 9 p.m.
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