23 injured in school bus crash on I-65 North in Nashville - WSMV News 4

23 injured in school bus crash on I-65 North in Nashville

Posted: Updated:
The crash happened at around 10:45 a.m. Friday. (Source: TDOT) The crash happened at around 10:45 a.m. Friday. (Source: TDOT)
At least 23 people were injured in the crash. (WSMV) At least 23 people were injured in the crash. (WSMV)

At least 23 people were injured in a school bus crash on Interstate 65 north of downtown Nashville on Friday morning.

The bus hit a guardrail and overturned on the off-ramp from I-65 North to Briley Parkway just before 10:45 a.m. Forty-six people, including 43 students, were on board at the time.

"It turned sideways and went the other way, flipped over and slid down the highway," said Jimmie Howard, who was driving a bus in front of the one that crashed.

Howard said he felt helpless watching the bus roll over in the mirror.

"As soon as the bus flipped over, people on the highway, they just stopped their cars and started running over there," he said.

The Nashville Fire Department said most of the injuries are not serious. The most serious injury appears to be a broken collarbone, and two others have critical arm injuries.

Twenty-one of the 23 victims were taken to Vanderbilt University Medical Center, while the others were taken to Skyline Medical Center.

Vanderbilt officials said 11 patients were treated and released. Eight others are currently in stable condition and two are in critical but stable condition.

Officials on scene confirmed the school bus is from Chester County High School. The students were taking three buses to go to the Tennessee state convention for the National Beta Club at the Gaylord Opryland Hotel. Two of the buses were carrying students, while the third bus was carrying luggage.

The students who were not injured in the crash were taken to the Metro Nashville Police Department's East Precinct.

Police identified the school bus driver as Christina Mathis, 28, from Henderson, TN. She told police she was experiencing steering issues when she lost control.

“The Nashville police department’s crash investigation team is investigating why this bus flipped. It’s my understanding that this bus is relatively new and has been in service for about a year,” said Don Aaron with Metro police.

Police said speed may have been a contributing factor in the crash.

The off-ramp from I-65 North was blocked for several hours while emergency crews were on the scene.

Stay with Channel 4 and WSMV.com for updates on this story.

UPDATE: In a written statement, Chester County Director of Schools Troy Kilzer said, "I am extremely appreciative of several groups that have supported our efforts to get our students cared for during this accident and after, home safe...Thanks to all prayers messages of encouragement and support for the students, families, CCHS staff, administration and CC District staff involved with this accident."

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