Interstate Reopened After Fatal Bus Crash In East Tenn. - NewsChannel5.com | Nashville News, Weather & Sports

Interstate Reopened After Fatal Bus Crash In East Tenn.

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DANDRIDGE, Tenn. – Both directions of Interstate 40 in East Tennessee were back open following a three-vehicle crash that killed eight people and injured more than a dozen others.

The crash happened Wednesday afternoon, forcing a section of the highway to close for nearly 14 hours.

With the road cleared, investigators have gathered most of the evidence. Officials said they would start looking into all the possible causes of the crash, including the bus driver's qualifications and other possible mechanical problems.

Police said a charter bus carrying church members blew a tire and crossed into oncoming traffic. The bus then clipped an SUV and slammed into an oncoming tractor-trailer.

The impact of the collision caused the cab of the tractor-trailer to burst into flames and the bus to rollover.

The semi driver was killed, along with a passenger in the SUV and 6 of the 18 passengers on the bus. The remaining 14 people involved in the crash were injured, although the nature and severity of the injuries were not available.

Read more: 8 Killed, 14 Injured In Church Bus Crash On I-40 In East Tenn.

Injured victims were taken to area hospitals, including four people who were transferred by medical helicopter to the University of Tennessee Medical Center.

Members of the church group's North Carolina community gathered to comfort each other.

"We found out it was across the street, so we started trying to read. It's really sad. It's heartbreaking to know that happened to so many people and so close to home," said Carrie Robles who works near the church.

The victims who were traveling in the charter bus were members of a church group called "The Young at Heart," They were on their way home from a conference in Gatlinburg.

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