More Than 20 Injured In I-65 School Bus Rollover

Posted at 10:57 AM, Nov 18, 2016
and last updated 2016-11-19 15:08:34-05

Nearly two dozen people were injured after a school bus full of children from Chester County overturned on Interstate 65. 

The incident happened around 10:45 a.m. Friday in the northbound lanes of the interstate near Exit 90 for Briley Parkway.

Metro Nashville Police Department spokesperson, Don Aaron, said 46 people were on the bus when it rolled, including 43 students, 2 adult chaperones and the driver. 

Aaron said 23 students were transported by ambulance with injuries. However, all of the students were taken to area hospitals to be checked out: 

  • 10 patients were sent to Tristar Skyline Medical Center: one adult, nine students. All have been treated and released.
  • Nine students (transported by bus) were taken to Tristar Cenntenial Medical Center. All have been treated and released. 
  • 21 patients were taken to Vanderbilt University Medical Center: 16 have been released, three were in stable condition and two were critical but stable condition.

None of the students or adults on the bus had life-threatening injuries, and all were expected to recover. 

The bus was part of a convoy of three school buses on their way to a Beta Club convention at the Gaylord Opryland Hotel and Resort scheduled for Friday through Sunday. 

Chester Co. Director of Schools Troy Kilzer, II released a detailed account of the day's events as well as the following statement Friday night:

"We are blessed that no life was lost during this very serious accident. Thanks to all who supported our efforts to inform and care for our students, staff and families."

Children from the other two buses could be seen wearing their matching Beta Club shirts, and forming a prayer circle as authorities investigated nearby. The students in the other two buses were taken to a safe place at the East Precinct of the Metro Nashville Police Department following the crash.

According to investigators from the fire department, nine ambulances were brought to the scene to help the injured students.

A crash investigation team from the Metro Nashville Police Department was working to determine why the bus flipped. Officials said the bus was relatively new and had only been in service for about a year. 

The driver was identified as 28-year-old Christina Mathis from Henderson. Police were talking to Mathis to determine exactly what happened. 

Aaron said it was unclear if the bus was traveling over the speed limit. 

The Tennessee Highway of Patrol was also on the scene to investigate the crash. 

Once the bus is moved, officials said it would be towed to the Metro Police impound lot, where additional inspections would be scheduled in the coming days. 

The off-ramp was blocked to northbound traffic for several hours. It was not expected to be cleared until after 3 p.m.

Southbound drivers were not affected. Drivers were advised to find alternate routes besides the off-ramp.