3 Dead and 15 Injured in Ohio Crash Involving Charter Bus Carrying High School Students

The collision occurred along Interstate 70 east of Columbus early Tuesday morning, authorities said

Three people were killed and 15 were injured early Tuesday morning in Ohio when a semi-truck rear-ended a charter bus carrying students from a high school, authorities said.

The collision happened at about 8:15 local time along Interstate 70 east of Columbus, emergency management authorities told the Associated Press and NBC affiliate WCMH-TV.

The bus was carrying 57 students and chaperones from Tuscarawas Valley Local School District in northeastern Ohio, Licking County Emergency Management Agency Director Sean Grady told the outlet.

Those injured in the crash were taken to five local hospitals, the AP reported, citing Ohio State Highway Patrol officials.

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The Ohio State Highway Patrol did not immediately return a request for additional information, but an official with the Licking County Emergency Management Agency told PEOPLE that a press conference was pending.

The bus passengers were on their way to the Ohio School Boards Association conference, Derek Varansky, superintendent of the Tuscarawas Valley Local School District said in a letter to the district.

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“Right now, our focus is on getting in touch with our Tusky Valley families who had loved ones on the bus and providing support to our entire school community,” Varansky said.

As thick smoke cleared from the area of the crash, at least one other vehicle appeared to have been involved in the accident, Ohio Department of Transportation cameras showed, according to The Columbus Dispatch.

As of early afternoon, the highway was closed in both directions, the Ohio Department of Transportation wrote on X.

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