Federal and state authorities are investigating a crash between a school bus and a utility service vehicle that killed a bus driver and a student in Meigs County, Tenn. on Tuesday.
The school bus was traveling along State Highway 58 when the collision occurred, according to a post on the Tennessee Highway Patrol’s (THP) Facebook page.
In a preliminary crash report, obtained by ABC News, THP officials said that the driver of the utility vehicle, 56-year-old Terry Trammell, drove off the side of the roadway, overcorrected, and lost control, causing his vehicle to veer into the opposite lane and collide with the bus.
The bus driver, 53-year-old Lisa Dillard, and the 7-year-old student, who was not yet identified by THP officials in the report, were killed, according to ABC News. Dillard was reportedly wearing her seat belt.
The report states that Trammell, who was also wearing his seat belt, suffered minor injuries in the crash, and eight other students on board the school bus sustained injuries, ABC News reports.
THP officials told FOX 17 News that the school bus was not equipped with seat belts for students.
On Wednesday, the Meigs County Department of Education (DOE) released a statement on Meigs County Schools website regarding the crash, thanking first responders, emergency personnel, and the community for their support (scroll down on the website to view the announcement). The DOE also said that the students who were injured in the crash were hospitalized in stable condition, and several have been treated and released.
“We sincerely appreciate all of your thoughts, prayers, and the outpouring of support that has been shown to Meigs County Schools and our community,” Clint Baker, Meigs County’s director of schools, said in the statement. “Meigs County is a tight knit community and we know the bond will be important as we navigate the days ahead.”
Baker told WTVC that there were a total of 32 people on board the bus at the time of the crash, including Dillard, and that the students on the bus were age 7 and up into high school.
The National Transportation Safety Board said in a tweet on Wednesday that it has opened an investigation into the crash. As of press time, no charges have been filed, according to ABC News.
View photos and a statement about the crash, posted on THP Chattanooga's Twitter page, below.
Tonight was a tremendous tragedy in Meigs County with a school bus crash involving a commercial vehicle, resulting in two deaths & multiple injuries. Our hearts and prayers go out to the families and the Meigs Co. community. pic.twitter.com/QiUvWeSLmj— THPChattanooga (@THPChattanooga) October 28, 2020