Update: Deadly Bus Crash Not The Fault Of Drivers Or Equipment

Apr 28, 2014

The accident scene on Interstate 40 in Jefferson County, October 2, 2013.
Credit Paul Efird, knoxnews.com

After months of investigation, the Tennessee Highway Patrol has concluded an October 2013 bus crash on I-40 East of Knoxville was caused by neither negligence nor driver incompetence.

Eight people were killed on October 2, when a church bus owned by the Front Street Baptist Church of Statesville, N.C. crossed the median and crashed into an SUV and a tractor-trailer.  The driver of the bus and five of his passengers died, as did the driver of the tractor-trailer and a passenger in the SUV.  Fourteen others were injured.

The report suggests one of the front wheels on the bus may have encountered "blunt force impact", which began to cause internal damage to its structure.  At some point after that, the tire blew and the driver lost control.  

The report found no pre-existing conditions with the tire and concluded the bus was "well-maintained."  Further, investigators say none of the drivers involved were distracted or impaired.

“This was a tragic event that claimed the lives of eight individuals by no fault of any one person," says THP Colonel Tracy Trott.  "It was an accident and we continue to keep those affected in our thoughts.”