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Investigation continues in Licking County accident that killed 6, injured 18

Mourners gather Tuesday night at a prayer vigil to mourn the deaths of three students, two parents and a teacher travelling to perform in Columbus, November 14, 2023.
Mourners gather at a prayer vigil to mourn the deaths of three students, two parents and a teacher travelling to preform in Columbus.

Authorities now say 6 people were killed and 18 injured in a chain reaction accident Tuesday morning in Licking County.

Although the investigation continues, the state highway patrol says the accident involved five vehicles, and the semitruck struck the back of a charter bus carrying students from Tuscarawas School District to Columbus around 8:50 am. Three of the vehicles in the westbound lane of the I-70 caught fire, and the freeway was closed for hours. Those killed include 3 people from the bus; 18-year old John Mosley of Mineral City, 15-year old Katelyn Owens also of Mineral City, and 18-year old Jeffery Worrell from Bolivar. Three chaperones travelling in a separate car were also killed; 39-year old Kristy Gaynor of Zoar, 56-year old Dave Kennat of Nevarre, and 45-year old Shannon Wigfield from Bolivar. All six were pronounced dead at the scene.

Ohio Governor Mike DeWine went directly to the reunification site He declined to speculate about the cause of the crash, saying the National Transportation Safety is handling the investigation, aided by the State Highway Patrol.

A prayer vigil was held Tuesday night at Tuscarawas Valley Schools for those who died, and classes are scheduled for today. But the superintendent says it "will not be a normal day." In a statement sent to members of the school community, Superintendent Dr. Derek Varansky wrote:

"Our hearts are broken by the tragic accident that happened today involving members of our high school band on their way to perform at the Ohio School Boards Association conference. We are saddened to share that we lost three students in the accident, students who were bright lights, full of life, and who lost their lives way too young.

In addition, a car following the bus which contained one of our teachers and two parent chaperones was involved in the accident. Tragically, all three lost their lives. There are no words for the magnitude of loss and grief felt by all of us."

A native of Chicago, naturalized citizen of Cincinnati and resident of Columbus, Alison attended Earlham College and the Ohio State University. She has equal passion for Midwest history, hockey and Slavic poetry.