Two buses carrying high school band students to an amusement park Thursday slammed into a freeway wreck that happened right in front of them, crushing a pickup truck and killing its driver, as well as one of the students. Dozens of other students were treated for injuries. The wreck near Gray Summit, about 40 miles west of St. Louis, happened when the pickup truck rear-ended a semi cab that had slowed down because it was nearing a construction zone, state police said. The first bus, which was carrying female band members from John F. Hodge High in St. James, slammed into the back of the pickup, then was launched on top of it after it was rear-ended by the second bus, State Highway Patrol Cpl. Jeff Wilson said.
Kolby Griffith, 17, said he was chatting with a friend on the second bus when it crashed. “It was all very, very quick,” Griffith said. “I was trying to get away, trying to get everyone away from the bus because I could smell gas.” At least 42 students were taken to hospitals, most with injuries not considered life-threatening. Many of them were at SSM Cardinal Glennon Children’s Medical Center in St. Louis when they were called into a room and informed of their bandmate’s death. “There’s a lot of pain,” Griffith said, choking back tears. Authorities have not publicly identified either of the people killed.
Wow, this looks severe…luckily there weren’t more deaths than reported.
Photos from the wreck below: