Object Damaged Tire in Bus Crash that Killed 8

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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- The Tennessee Highway Patrol says a blown tire on a church bus was the cause of an accident that killed eight people in three vehicles last October.

Speaking at a news conference in Knoxville on Monday, Highway Patrol Col. Tracy Trott called it one of the worst traffic accidents in Tennessee history.

Trott said the investigation found no defect in the tire. He said the evidence indicates the tire impacted an object sometime in the 50 miles before the crash. It blew out because of the damage.

The bus was returning to Statesville, N.C., with a group of seniors who had been attending a religious retreat in Gatlinburg.

After the tire blew, the driver lost control and crossed the median, hitting a sports utility vehicle and a tractor trailer.

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