NEW PHILADELPHIA, OHIO: Moving tributes have been pouring in for Dave Kennat, a 56-year-old high school teacher who died in the horrific I-70 bus crash that killed six people and left 18 others seriously injured.
The collision involving several vehicles occurred in the commune of Etna, along national road 310, shortly before 9 a.m. on Tuesday, November 14, resulting in the fire of at least three of the vehicles.
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“The chain reaction accident occurred” when the five vehicles — a charter bus, two utility vehicles and two automobiles — were heading west on I-70, according to a patrol news release Ohio State Highway Patrol.
NTSB Chair Jennifer Homendy said at a news conference Wednesday that the second passenger car was crushed between the bus and the utility vehicle that hit it from behind.
As a result of the crash, six people were pronounced dead at the scene, including three teenagers on the Charter bus, which was transporting 54 students and chaperones from Tuscarawas Valley Local Schools.
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The three teens were identified as John W Mosely, 18, Katelyn N Owens, 15, of Mineral City, and Jeffery D Worrell, 18, of Bolivar. Members of the Tuscarawas Valley High School band were “on their way to perform at the Ohio School Boards Association conference,” according to a statement from Superintendent Dr. Derek Varansky.
🇺🇸 United States ▪️ Accident on I-70 in Licking County, Ohio, involving multiple vehicles; including a bus transporting high school students. 6 people on the bus died (11/14) pic.twitter.com/aUgQTRTkmP
– Latest News 🗞️ (@AEagle98704) November 15, 2023
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Others killed in the crash were Dave Kennat, 56, of Navarre; Kristy Gaynor, 39, of Zoar; and Shannon Wigfield, 45, of Bolivar, who were in the passenger car sandwiched between the bus and the tractor-trailer.
Officials also said a total of 15 students and the bus driver were taken to area hospitals after the crash, while other students were taken to a reunification site, according to information from the AP.
Who was Dave Kennat?
Kennat was identified as a 56-year-old Tuscarawas Valley High School teacher who was killed in the horrific crash. His LinkedIn profile revealed that he had been teaching teenagers for 31 years.
One of his former students, Mindi Lieser-Sherlin, paid him a heartwarming tribute: “He was great in my time, so I can only imagine how cool it was to have him as a teacher over 20 years later !” she said in a Facebook post.
“My heart is broken for all the families/friends and the entire community! Please continue to pray for the families/friends/staff/first responders/hospital staff involved in this tragic accident as I am sure that He had an impact on every one of you!” she continued.
Another post from the Wanake Camp & Retreat Center called Kennat a “friend, loyal alumnus, volunteer, master gardener and staunch supporter.”
The camp remembered Kennat for “his enthusiasm for ministry, for people and for fun was contagious.” “Dave’s passion for Wanake Gardens and nurturing the unique wildflowers on site was effervescent,” they said in the message to Spectrum News 1.
“He could often be found pulling weeds, planting annuals, and thinning/transplanting perennials. Dave enjoyed leading hikes, doing adventurous things, and leading rock climbs with campers and staff .”
“Dave Kennat has been in Wanake for many years, many days, in many ways, and has impacted many people. The Wanake family is grateful for his life, mourns his death and has hope for his eternal life in Jesus,” they continued.
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