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8 Dead, 14 Injured In Bus Wreck
(5:30 A.M.) I-40, at mm-421, has just reopened according to Tennessee Highway Patrol.
Eight people are dead and 14 others are injured after a chartered bus from North Carolina crashed on I-40 just across the Tennessee border. A church group from Statesville was on the bus. They were on their way home from a trip to Gatlinburg Wednesday afternoon when they crashed.
Tennessee Highway Patrol says a church bus blew a tire, veered across the median, hitting an SUV and a tractor trailer. The bus, carrying a senior church group from Statesville, flipped over and the truck burst into flames. Troopers say six of the people killed were on the bus. Others killed include the driver of the truck and another person in the SUV.
The crash shut down the interstate causing major traffic backups. Drivers had to detour through Johnson City along I-26. News 13 spoke with drivers who had to be rerouted. The detour added over an hour and a half of drive time to everyone's trip by taking drivers through Madison County on I-26 to get back onto I-40.
I-40 is still closed as of 9 p.m. Wednesday in both directions at mm-421. TDOT is advising westbound I-40 travelers to get off at Exit 432 to US 25/70 West to State Route 92 North back to I-40 Westbound at Exit 417.
TDOT is advising travelers heading toward North Carolina on eastbound I-40 to take Interstate 81 Northbound to Interstate 26 Eastbound and then back to I-40 Eastbound in North Carolina.
Traffic is being rerouted on the eastbound side at the I-40, I-81 junction. On the westbound side, the traffic is being diverted at mile marker 432.