Two grade school children are among the three people who lost their lives on Tuesday afternoon in a school bus accident. Officials responded to the emergency just after 2:50 p.m. on the Asheville Highway in Knoxville.
According to CBS News, Knox County school bus 44 from Chilhowee Intermediate School was heading east on the highway when for unknown reasons, the driver veered over the concrete median and entered oncoming traffic. The 44 bus ended up colliding with a second Knox County school bus transporting students from Sunnyview Primary School. Officials said both buses were packed with students when the crash occurred. The impact caused the second bus to flip over onto its side. All three of the deceased victims were aboard the second bus.
Children on both buses told the media they were worried for their lives when they saw their peers flying out of their seats, screaming and crying on the floor. Joy Reinmann, a fifth grader at Chilhowee, said she thought she was going to die.
The victims have been identified as 7-year-old Zykia Burns, 7-year-old Seraya Glasper and 46-year-old Kimberly Riddle, who was a teacher's assistant at Sunnyview. Emergency responders treated 27 people for injuries. The most seriously injured - 7-year-old Jaden Allen and 7-year-old Jada Parman - were rushed to University of Tennessee Medical Center, along with 47-year-old James Davenport, the driver of bus 44.
At this time, officials are uncertain what caused bus 44 to swerve into oncoming traffic. Investigators will examine the bus for any mechanical issues and interview the drivers and other witnesses in the coming days to find out what circumstances led up to this tragedy.