Report, video reveals details of bus crash that killed Tuscarawas Valley students, adults

A report and footage released by the Ohio Department of Public Safety revealed additional details about a fatal Nov. 14 crash that killed three high school students and three adults on Interstate 70 in Licking County.

The report says that a 2019 semi followed too closely in traffic and failed to slow down and struck another vehicle before hitting the charter bus carrying students from Tuscarawas Valley Middle-High School.

The bus, a Nissan Murano, a Toyota Highlander, and a Volvo truck were westbound on I-70 and slowing down for traffic when the semi hit the Murano and forced it into the rear-end of the bus, the report says. The semi, owned by Hebron-based trucking company Mid State Systems, pushed it into the road and it struck back of the bus.

The impact forced the bus into the Highlander, the report says. The SUV then hit the Volvo before the Highlander spun into the left lane. The bus then struck the rear-end of the Volvo.

The crash killed six people and left several others with injuries. Those who died included:

  • John W. Mosley, 18, of Mineral City

  • Jeffery D. Worrell, 18, of Bolivar

  • Katelyn N. Owens, 15, of Mineral City

  • Dave Kennat, 56, of Navarre

  • Kristy Gaynor, 39, of Zoar

  • Shannon Wigfield, 45, of Bolivar

None of the passengers of the bus listed in the report were wearing seatbelts. It’s unclear if the vehicle, owned by Pioneer Trails, Inc., was equipped with them.

None of the drivers involved have been found to be distracted or under the influence. The driver of the semi passed a drug and alcohol test, and results for the driver of the Nissan Murano were unknown at the time the report was written.

The video footage released by the Ohio Highway Patrol shows that first responders were not immediately sure whether all students were off the bus. Body-worn camera footage shows an officer arriving and being told not everyone was off the bus.

The officer pulled someone from the Toyota Highlander who did not exit the SUV after being told to get out by police. The officer wearing the camera then enters the bus with a fire extinguisher.

The officer calls out to anyone on the bus, but no one responds. The seats appear empty except those at the back of the bus, which aren't visible because they're engulfed in flames. The officer leaves the bus, and other first responders who enter after him can be seen coughing and gagging.

The footage also shows witnesses and crash victims scattered across the grass by the side of the road. One person receives CPR while someone tells the officer that there are several people with suspected broken legs or feet. One female victim can't feel her legs, someone tells the officer. The footage ends as firefighters work to extinguish the vehicles.

The crash remains under investigation, with the National Transportation Safety Board expected to issue its findings within weeks.

bagallion@dispatch.com

This article originally appeared on The Columbus Dispatch: Chain-reaction crash killed Tuscarawas Valley students, adults