12-year-old taken to hospital after church bus crash in North Knoxville


KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) -- The passenger taken to U.T. Medical Center was 12-year-old Aiyanna Perry. She was treated and released.

Police say the driver of the truck was 44-year-old Robert Coleman, of Roxie, Mississippi.

No citations were issued.


ORIGINAL STORY:

A church bus and an 18 wheeler collided just after 9:00 Sunday morning, injuring at least four people.

It happened at the intersection of Dutch Valley Road and Central Avenue Pike.

The bus from Knoxville Baptist Tabernacle on E. Magnolia Avenue was carrying six passengers, in addition to the driver.

Rural Metro sent two ambulances to the scene, and they took a 12-year-old girl to the hospital for non-life threatening injuries.

Police say the bus driver lost control trying to avoid a vehicle that turned unexpectedly. It ran into a telephone pole and then crossed the center lane and hit the big rig.

The intersection was shut down while utility crews worked to fix the pole that was knocked down.

It happened in front of Christus Victor Lutheran Church, where pastor Bill Ondracka saw it happen. He quickly grabbed some nurses from the congregation.

"They rushed over there to try to tend the needs of the people, and I rushed over there just to see if there was anything i could do to help."

Knoxville Baptist Tabernacle pastor Tony Greene called the accident a rare, unfortunate event. He said while they're praying for the families involved, he's glad the incident wasn't worse.

"When people get shook up like that, it's more our nerves than anything. And thankfully that's all there seems to be at this time," he said.

The bus driver has more than 30 years of experience, Greene said. The church has been driving people to church by bus for more than 50 years.

Police were not able to find the car that caused the wreck.


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