GRAY SUMMIT, Mo. | Two buses carrying high school band students to an amusement park were involved in a freeway wreck involving a tractor-trailer today 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, 32 miles west of St. Louis, were riders on the school buses.
Ashley Wiehle, a spokeswoman for SSM Cardinal Glennon Children's Medical Center in St. Louis, said 36 kids were en route to the hospital. She said they appeared to be in good condition and were going to be examined as a precaution.
The buses were carrying St. James (Mo.) High School band students to the Six Flags amusement park roughly 10 miles 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 gray 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.