An I-40 crash leaves at least eight people dead and over a dozen injured in a fiery bus crash that closed down I-40 on Wednesday afternoon. The I-40 crash involved a church bus, a tractor-trailer and a passenger vehicle, according to WATE Knoxville, Tennessee on Oct. 2.
Front Street Baptist Church members from Statesville were on a bus returning from a fall jubilee in Gatlinburg when the accident occurred. The bus was eastbound on I-40 when it traveled across the median and hit head on by a tractor trailer and a passenger car heading westbound. The bus ended up on its side due to the impact.
The tractor trailer caught fire from the impact and the bus’s front end was mangled, with the bus on its side. The Tennessee Department of Transportation estimates that Interstate 40 will remain closed until about 9 p.m. Wednesday.
Multiple counties sent fire and rescue personal to this horrific crash. Medical helicopters were on scene to transport the injured to the University of Tennessee Medical Center in Knoxville. The children’s hospital in Knoxville is on standby, but they have not received any patients as of yet.
University of Tennessee Medical Center spokesperson, Susan Wyatt, said the hospital was braced to accept 14 patients from this crash. By mid-afternoon they have already received 11 injured.
The Tennessee Department of Transportation is re-routing traffic at this time. They have issued these directions for travelers:
“TDOT is advising westbound I-40 travelers to get off at Exit 424 to State Route 113 south to US 25/70 West to State Route 92 North back to I-40 Westbound at Exit 417.”
“TDOT is advising travelers heading toward North Carolina on eastbound I-40 to take Interstate 81 Northbound to Interstate 26 Eastbound and then back to I-40 Eastbound in North Carolina.”