THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
GRAY SUMMIT, Mo. — Two buses carrying high-school band students to an amusement park were involved in a freeway collision with a tractor-trailer Thursday that left two people dead and dozens injured, officials said.
Missouri Department of Transportation spokesman Jorma Duran confirmed the two deaths but could not immediately say whether the victims of the Interstate 44 crash near Gray Summit, about 50 kilometres west of St. Louis, were riders on the school buses.
Franklin County Sheriff’s Department officials said up to 50 people were injured in the collision, broadcasters KMOX and KMOV reported.
The buses were carrying St. James High School band students to the Six Flags amusement park roughly 16 kilometres from the crash scene.
Aerial footage of the wreckage showed the front end of one of the yellow school buses perched atop the back of the grey semi rig’s cab. The second bus had smashed into a rear corner of the first bus. Firefighters were hosing down the mangled debris. Metal ladders provided access to the buses’ windows.
Calls to the Franklin County Sheriff’s Department were directed to the Missouri State Highway Patrol, which did not immediately return calls and pages.