On November 14, 2023, Interstate 70 West in Licking County, Ohio became the site of a devastating collision involving a charter bus carrying 57 individuals from the Tuscarawas Valley Local School District and a semitrailer.
The charter bus was traveling to a conference in Columbus, Ohio, when it was struck from behind by the semi-truck. This set off a chain reaction involving two commercial vehicles, two passenger vehicles, and the bus. Among the deceased were two 18-year-old boys and a 15-year-old girl from the school district, along with three adults in another vehicle. The collision was so severe that it resulted in at least three vehicles catching fire, a horrifying scene captured by Ohio Department of Transportation cameras.
Sean Grady, the Director of Licking County Emergency Management Agency, confirmed these details. In the wake of the crash, emergency response teams rapidly converged on the site. The injured were distributed among five local hospitals, including Grant Medical Center, Mount Carmel East, and Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Ohio.
The bus, belonging to Pioneer Trails, a family-run company based in Millersburg, Holmes County, Ohio, sustained significant damage. Emergency personnel from both Licking and eastern Franklin Counties in Ohio were quick to provide assistance and manage the aftermath of this tragic event.
Currently, the Ohio State Police are conducting a thorough investigation into the cause of the crash. This incident led to the closure of the highway in both directions, significantly disrupting traffic flow.
In a testament to the severity of the crash, the American Red Cross sent 30 units of blood to a nearby hospital to aid the injured. This response highlights the critical nature of the accident and the urgent need for medical assistance for those affected.