COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) – A crash on Interstate 70 on Tuesday involving a bus transporting students, a semi and three other vehicles left at least three dead and 15 injured, with area hospitals feeling the impact.
After the crash, which happened near Etna in Licking County, the American Red Cross Central and Southern Ohio said it is providing blood donations and resources to those involved.
Don Hawkins, regional communications manager with the Red Cross, said the region sent 30 units of blood to Mount Carmel facilities and expected to receive a request for more units.
Hawkins said once they receive the request, additional units would be sent to Mount Carmel or other local hospitals where victims could be. The Ohio State Highway Patrol said victims were taken to seven area hospitals.
In addition to providing units of blood, the Red Cross also helped establish a reconnection site in Etna for parents to pick up children involved in the accident. The students were on a trip from Tuscarawas Valley High School, a rural 1,200-student district in northeastern Ohio.
When it comes to the need for blood, especially in situations like the crash on I-70, Hawkins said its the blood units on the shelves that make a difference in saving someone’s life.
“If you go donate today, your donation isn’t going to go to the person that needs it today,” Hawkins said. “It’s going to go to someone who needs it in a few days, once it’s processed. You’re helping provide those the life saving gift of blood to someone who’s going to need it and unfortunately today, more of it was needed than normal.”
The Red Cross is providing resources for those involved. Hawkins said their mental health specialists are available as needed. The Tuscarawas Valley School District is also providing counseling services for students, as well.
If you would like to donate blood, click here to make an appointment or find a blood drive near you.