A crash involving two school buses killed two children and one adult Tuesday afternoon in Knoxville, Tenn., police said.
The crash occurred along Asheville Highway, school district officials confirmed. A district spokeswoman said the buses were from Chilhowee Intermediate School and Sunnyview Primary School.
All three of the dead were female and had been on the bus from Sunnyview Primary, according to the Knoxville Police Department. Their names were not being released until relatives had been notified.
A preliminary investigation found that the bus from Chilhowee Intermediate was going east on the highway when, “for some unknown reason,” it made a sharp left turn, crossed a concrete median and hit the westbound Sunnyview bus, police said. The Sunnyview bus flipped onto its side, they said.
Two children and an adult were taken to the University of Tennessee Medical Center and were in stable condition Tuesday night, police said. Twenty children were taken to East Tennessee Children's Hospital and, as of Tuesday night, all had been treated and discharged, according to the hospital.
In brief remarks to reporters, Knox County Schools Supt. Jim McIntyre called the crash an "unspeakable tragedy."
Wednesday classes are canceled at the two affected schools, but the campuses will be open and counselors will be available there, McIntyre said later. “We will make every effort to support the needs of all students and staff in the coming weeks,” he said in a statement.
The University of Tennessee Medical Center tweeted its condolences, saying, "our thoughts are with everyone involved."
“Our prayers go out to families of children and drivers in school bus crash,” Knoxville Mayor Madeline Rogero tweeted.
Times staff writer Lauren Raab contributed to this report.