A 5-vehicle crash involving a semitruck and a commercial bus on Interstate 70 in Licking County has left multiple people dead and another 15 injured Tuesday, Nov. 14, Ohio State Highway Patrol Lt. Nate Dennis said during a press conference.

The crash occurred around 8:45 Tuesday morning, and the interstate was closed to traffic in both directions.

Dennis said 18 people were removed from the bus, carrying students and chaperones from Tuscarawas Valley Local Schools in Zoarville. Those students were headed to the Ohio School Boards Association conference in Columbus, Tuscarawas Valley Superintendent Derek Varansky said on Facebook.

“This is our worst nightmare when we have a bus full of children involved in a crash and certainly the worst nightmare families can endure or a school can endure,” Gov. Mike DeWine said during a Tuesday morning press conference. “Our hearts go out, our prayers to all the families, all those on the bus, everyone who was involved in the accident.”

Though the highway patrol was unable to confirm total casualties, a Red Cross spokesperson told the Columbus Dispatch that three people had died as a result of the crash.

The investigation into the crash is ongoing. The southbound highway remains closed, though crews are preparing to open the eastbound highway after almost eight hours, ODOT posted at 4:15 p.m. Tuesday on X , formerly known as Twitter.

“It’s a very sad circumstance, but we’re going to continue the investigation,” Dennis added.