6 people, including 3 teenagers, were killed in a multi-vehicle crash on an Ohio highway: police

6 people, including 3 teenagers, were killed in a multi-vehicle crash on an Ohio highway: police

Six people, including three teenagers, were killed in a multi-vehicle crash on an Ohio interstate Tuesday morning that involved a charter bus carrying high school students, officials said.

More than a dozen people were also injured in the accident, which occurred on Highway 70 in Etna shortly before 9 a.m. local time, according to authorities.

The Ohio State Highway Patrol said five vehicles — the charter bus, as well as two commercial vehicles and two passenger vehicles — were involved in the “serial crash” while traveling west on the interstate. She added that at least three cars subsequently caught fire.

The Pioneer Trails charter bus was transporting students from local Tuscarawas Valley schools at the time, according to Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine.

“Let me just say this is our worst nightmare when a bus full of kids gets into a crash,” DeWine said during a press conference on Tuesday.

Behind the bus was an SUV carrying passengers traveling with the bus group, Jennifer Homendy, head of the National Transportation Safety Board, said at a news conference Tuesday evening in Columbus.

Homendi said that the vehicles arrived in a traffic queue, but there is currently conflicting information about the sequence of events in the accident.

Three passengers on the charter bus were pronounced dead at the scene — John Moseley, 18, of Mineral; Jeffrey Worrell, 18, of Bolivar; and Katelyn Owens, 15, of Mineral City — the Ohio State Highway Patrol said Tuesday evening.

State police said 15 students and the bus driver were taken to area hospitals.

All three passengers in one of the passenger cars were also pronounced dead at the scene – Dave Kainat, 56, of Navarre; Christy Gaynor, 39, of Visitors; State Police said Shannon Wigfield, 45, of Bolivar.

The driver of one commercial vehicle was taken to the hospital with non-life-threatening injuries, while the driver of the other commercial vehicle was treated and released at the scene, state police said.

The driver of the second passenger vehicle was taken to an area hospital, state police said.

Tuscarawas Valley Local Schools Superintendent Derek Varansky said earlier Tuesday that students and chaperones were traveling to the Ohio School Boards Association conference in Columbus when their charter bus was involved in a “very serious accident.”

State police said a total of 54 students and chaperones were on board the bus.

In addition to high school students, parents and teachers were among those on board, according to the Ohio State Highway Patrol’s Tuscarawas office.

Pioneer Trails said it is “fully cooperating with authorities as we work to determine the cause of the accident.”

The company said in a statement: “Our thoughts and prayers go out to everyone affected by this accident.” “As this is an ongoing investigation, there will be no further comments.”

Agents will go to the scene Wednesday to begin the investigative process, which includes collecting items like cameras from vehicles or the bus, if they have them, the NTSB’s Homendy said.

Investigations typically take 12 to 18 months, but in the next few weeks, the agency will release a preliminary report on the incident, Homendy said.

ABC News’ Alexandra Faull, Sam Sweeney and Julie Lash contributed to this report.

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