- Associated Press - Thursday, August 5, 2010

GRAY SUMMIT, Mo. (AP) — Missouri state troopers said the two people killed Thursday in a chain-reaction freeway accident involving a tractor-trailer cab, two school buses and a pickup truck were a girl on one of the buses and the driver of the pickup.

Authorities said the buses were taking band members from St. James High School to the Six Flags St. Louis amusement park, which is about 10 miles from the crash site, when the collision occurred on Interstate 44 near Gray Summit, about 32 miles west of St. Louis.

The Missouri State Highway Patrol said the pickup truck slammed into the back of the tractor, which had slowed for traffic near a construction zone.

The bus carrying the girl then struck the pickup from behind and was rear-ended by the other bus.

Franklin County Sheriff’s Department officials said up to 50 people were injured in the collision, broadcasters KMOX and KMOV reported.

Dozens of children were taken to area hospitals, mostly with injuries not considered life-threatening.

Ashley Wiehle, a spokeswoman for SSM Cardinal Glennon Children’s Medical Center in St. Louis, said 36 children were en route to the hospital. She said they appeared to be in good condition but were going to be examined as a precaution.

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