Victims in Ohio Bus Crash Identified

3 students, 2 parents, and a teacher died Wednesday in multi-vehicle crash
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Nov 16, 2023 7:49 AM CST
'Good Samaritans' Praised After Ohio Bus Crash
Laura Taylor, New Philadelphia post commander of the Ohio State Highway Patrol, talks with the media, Tuesday, Nov. 14, 2023, outside Tuscarawas Valley Middle/High School in Zoarville, Ohio.   (Andrew Dolph/Times Reporter via AP)

A federal investigator looking into an Ohio bus crash that killed three students, two parents, and a teacher with a high school band group praised on Wednesday the "good Samaritans" who rushed to the scene of the highway crash, per the AP. National Transportation Safety Board Chair Jennifer Homendy said numerous police and fire departments responded to the scene shortly after the Tuesday crash on westbound Interstate 70 in Licking County, about 26 miles east of Columbus. Among them were some Gahanna officers who were heading to a training event when they learned of the accident and went directly to the scene. Homendy said there was "conflicting information" about the sequence of events that led to the chain-reaction crash, which involved five vehicles, including an SUV and a semi.

The Pioneer Trails charter bus was carrying students and chaperones from the Tuscarawas Valley Local School District in eastern Ohio, who were headed to perform at an educational conference, which offered professional development sessions for school district management teams and an annual Student Achievement Fair. Three passengers on the bus, which was carrying a driver and 54 students and chaperones, were pronounced dead at the scene, the Ohio State Highway Patrol said. They were identified as John Mosely, 18, of Mineral City; Jeffery Worrell, 18, of Bolivar; and Katelyn Owens, 15, of Mineral City. All three people in one of the passenger vehicles involved—a teacher and two parent chaperones for the student trip—were also pronounced dead at the scene.

They were identified as high school teacher Dave Kennat, 56, of Navarre; Kristy Gaynor, 39, of Zoar, and Shannon Wigfield, 45, of Bolivar. Wigfield served as a English language arts instructor at Buckeye Career Center, which offers career-technical education for students as well as adult education courses. Several others were taken to hospitals. Two students remained hospitalized Wednesday with serious but non-life-threatening injuries, district officials said. Homendy said the safety board team went to the scene Wednesday for the first time to get an overview of the site and start looking for cameras and other evidence. The team will likely be in the area for five to seven days, and a preliminary report would likely be issued within the next few weeks, Homendy said. (More bus crash stories.)

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