COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) – A report and body camera footage released by the state are shining a light on what happened earlier this month when a chain reaction crash killed three high school students and three adults in Licking County.
A report from the Ohio Department of Public Safety shows the 2019 Freightliner semi-truck was trailing too closely in traffic and failed to slow down, hitting another vehicle before hitting the charter bus carrying students and chaperones from Tuscarawas Valley Middle-High School in northeastern Ohio on Nov. 14.
WARNING: RAW BODY AND DASH CAM FOOTAGE FROM THE CRASH. VIEWER DISCRETION IS ADVISED.
Six people — students John W. Mosley, 18, of Mineral City; Jeffery D. Worrell, 18, of Bolivar, and Katelyn N. Owens, 15, of Mineral City, and adults Dave Kennat, 56, of Navarre; Kristy Gaynor, 39, of Zoar, and Shannon Wigfield, 45, of Bolivar — were killed in the crash.
According to the report, the charter bus, a Nissan Murano, a Toyota Highlander, and a Volvo truck were driving west on Interstate 70 and slowing down for traffic when the semi-trailer hit the Murano, forcing the Murano into the back of the bus before the semi pushed it out into the road, hitting the back of the bus. This then forced the bus into the Highlander, which hit the Volvo before the Highlander spun into the left lane. The bus then hit the rear of the Volvo.
The driver of the semi-truck, identified as a 60-year-old Zanesville man, was tested at the scene for impairment, but none was found. No charges have been filed against the driver. None of the other drivers involved in the crash were tested, according to the report.
The video released by OSHP starts with dashboard camera footage of a trooper making a U-turn along I-70 as smoke from the crash can be seen billowing in the distance. After about a minute, the cruiser pulls up to the scene. The fire burns through the semi-truck, leaving nothing but the frame of the trailer. The video continues showing more help arriving at the scene as the fire continues burning through the semi-trailer truck.
The video then switches to an OSHP trooper’s body camera and shows the man going into the trunk of his cruiser to grab a fire extinguisher before running toward the crash scene. The trooper first runs to the Highlander, yelling to get the driver — identified as a 75-year-old Heath man — out of the vehicle. The driver was taken to Grant Medical Center for serious injuries.
The trooper then goes into the bus, calling out for anyone who may be on it as he starts spraying the fire extinguisher toward the back of the bus. The officer is then told there was no one left on the bus and exits.
The video then shows the trooper talking to victims of the crash as well as samaritans who stopped to help, asking for a count of the number of people traveling on the bus. The officer then makes his way to the students, asking if any of them needed a medic.
The National Transportation Safety Board’s investigation into the crash is ongoing.