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Over Two Dozen Injured in Tennessee Bus Crash

JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (AP) — A driver and more than 25 students were taken to hospitals in upper East Tennessee, some with severe injuries, after a school bus carrying high school students flipped over Thursday, officials said.

One girl was in critical condition after surgery for head and neck injuries, said Washington County schools spokeswoman Susan Kiernan. All but five or six were expected to be released Thursday night.

Kiernan said 63 students from David Crockett High School were on the bus. The wreck happened around 3 p.m. when the wheels dropped off the side of the road and the driver overcorrected, on Mount Wesley Road about eight miles southwest of Jonesborough, Tennessee Highway Patrol spokeswoman Dalya Qualls said.

Kiernan said the driver was taken to a hospital by ambulance with chest pain, but she didn't know whether she would be admitted.

Qualls said the roadway remained closed as the troopers were still investigating and Kiernan said reports from the scene indicate the bus flipped several times.

Joshua Wilson, a Crockett junior, described the crash to the Johnson City Press.

"Our bus was going really fast over a hill and something happened," he said. "We swerved and slipped. I heard it was three times. It was scary."

Protocol requires a driver to submit to a blood test following a school bus crash, and the school district is looking at any safety issues that might be a factor, Kiernan said. The bus had been inspected in March and had new tires on the front, she said.

Kiernan said she did not have conditions on the students, but said some suffered head and neck injuries while others had minor cuts and bruises. Besides those taken by ambulance or helicopter, some parents may have sought medical attention for their children.

Kiernan said they have been keeping parents updated with information posted on their website at http://www.wcde.org and through text messages. She said school would be held as usual Friday and that additional counselors would be there.

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.



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