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School bus driver, 7-year-old girl killed in Tennessee crash

A school bus driver was killed along with a 7-year-old girl after a utility vehicle swerved into their lane. The bus, carrying 22 children, slammed head-on into the vehicle's side, the Tennessee Highway Patrol said.

Five children were airlifted to a regional hospital and two were taken by ambulance after Tuesday’s crash on state Highway 58 in Meigs County in eastern Tennessee, Lt. Bill Miller said.

Authorities said the oncoming utility vehicle veered off the road and then over-corrected, swerving and skidding sideways just in front of the oncoming bus. The bus driver, a woman, had no opportunity to stop, the highway patrol said.

Meigs County schools superintendent Clint Baker speaks during a press conference addressing a fatal bus crash, Tuesday, Oct. 27, 2020 in Decatur, Tenn. A school bus carrying children crashed Tuesday in Tennessee, killing two people and injuring others, officials said. The crash involved a utility service vehicle and happened on state Highway 58 in Meigs County in eastern Tennessee, said Lt. Bill Miller of the Tennessee Highway Patrol. (Troy StoltChattanooga Times Free Press via AP)

One student, a boy, was in critical condition and undergoing surgery as of late Tuesday night. No names were released pending notification of family.

“My sincere condolences to this community and to the family of the school bus driver and the family of the 7-year-old who was killed tonight in this crash,” Lt. Miller told a Tuesday evening news conference at Meigs South Elementary School in Decatur, according to the Chattanooga Times Free Press.

Tennessee Education Commissioner Penny Schwinn said in a statement that she and the entire staff at the Tennessee Department of Education are “deeply saddened.”

Meigs County District Attorney General Russel Johnson speaks during a press conference addressing a fatal bus crash, Tuesday, Oct. 27, 2020 in Decatur, Tenn. A school bus carrying children crashed Tuesday in Tennessee, killing two people and injuring others, officials said. The crash involved a utility service vehicle and happened on state Highway 58 in Meigs County in eastern Tennessee, said Lt. Bill Miller of the Tennessee Highway Patrol. (Troy StoltChattanooga Times Free Press via AP)

The driver of the utility vehicle, from Service Electric, was being treated for minor injuries.

Authorities are investigating. No charges have been filed in the crash.

Meigs County Sheriff Jackie Melton speaks during a press conference addressing a fatal bus crash, Tuesday, Oct. 27, 2020 in Decatur, Tenn. A school bus carrying children crashed Tuesday in Tennessee, killing two people and injuring others, officials said. The crash involved a utility service vehicle and happened on state Highway 58 in Meigs County in eastern Tennessee, said Lt. Bill Miller of the Tennessee Highway Patrol. (Troy StoltChattanooga Times Free Press via AP)