Bus hits tractor-trailer and car after crossing median near I-81 split

Tenn. bus crash

A North Carolina-bound church crashed into an SUV and a tractor-trailer after blowing a front tire on I-40 in eastern Tennessee on Oct. 2, 2013, killing at least eight people and injuring 14.(Photo: Paul Efird, The Knoxville News Sentinel, via AP)

SOURCE  –  Eight people died and 14 were injured Wednesday afternoon when a North Carolina church bus crashed into an SUV and a tractor-trailer after it blew a tire and crossed a median on Interstate 40 in eastern Tennessee, according to police and news outlets.

The fatalities included six of the 18 bus passengers, the big-rig driver and one of the three people in the Chevrolet Tahoe, said Tennessee Department of Safety spokeswoman Dalya Qualls. Fourteen people were injured, with four airlifted to area hospitals and eight transported by ambulance.

The crash occurred about 2 p.m. near the Interstate 81 split in Jefferson County, about 30 miles east of Knoxville, the Tennessee Highway Patrol said.

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