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1 confirmed dead from multi-vehicle crash involving church bus in North Knoxville

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KNOXVILLE (WATE) - A church bus and two other vehicles were involved in a deadly crash Thursday in North Knoxville. The crash was reported around 5:30 p.m. Thursday on North Broadway and Oglewood Avenue.

Officials say one person died in the crash.

The bus was filled with around two dozen teenagers from Indianapolis attending a church conference hosted by Johnson University and Lost Sheep Ministries. They were from a church in Brazil, Indiana called Berea Christian Church. It's about 70 miles south from the Indianapolis area.

Officials said the bus had a red light but apparently was unable to stop and drove through the intersection. A Kia was hit by the bus first and a Chevy S-10 was also hit by the bus. The bus then continued through the intersection and hit the pole of the CVS sign. The woman driver of the Kia was killed.

"I saw the bus, the bus involved, flying down Oglewood. I knew something had to be wrong for it to be running that fast, I thought in my mind. Within seconds I heard this big crash and three or four big booms. I ran down here within 30 seconds of it," Johnny Sharp said.

"I heard a large crash, and then another crash immediately after that. I immediately got up, stepped outside and saw this bus and the two vehicles in the intersection," said Marvin Wilson.

"We believe the bus may have had a malfunction causing it to go through the intersection," said Darrell DeBusk, with the Knoxville Police Department.

Witnesses say it didn't look like anyone was at fault.

"They were coming down Oglewood and the brakes failed on his bus. They just shot right through the intersection," Wilson said. "It's shocking. We live every day with the specter of death over us but to just realize these people are just cruising down the road without a care in the world and the next thing they know, they're dead."

DeBusk says the bus will be taken to an impound lot where it will continue to be investigated to try to find out exactly what went wrong. It could take a few days until they have more answers.

Authorities say 18 people were on the bus. Three adults were transported to Tennova, the Old Saint Mary's. Two juveniles from the bus were transported to Children's Hospital. There was also one adult on the bus transported to Children's Hospital as a guardian to the children.

Crews said none of the injuries appear to be life threatening. 
 
Johnson University came to pick up the 11 other children who were not hurt in the bus crash. They'll be making sure the children have a safe place to stay as the others recover in the hospital. 

The driver of the bus was not hurt in the crash. He was taken to UT Medical Center where he will give a blood sample. KPD says that's considered protocol in a deadly crash investigation.

Investigators will hand over their findings from the entire investigation to the Knox County District Attorney's Office to determine whether any charges will be filed.

6 News reporters Alexis Zotos, Kayla Strayer, and Cameron Taylor contributed to this report.