The Tennessee bus crash that resulted in eight deaths and left fourteen injured will not be investigated by the National Transportation Safety Board because of the government shutdown.
"All of our highway investigators are furloughed," Sharon Bryson, NTSB deputy director of communications told NBC.
"I think it’s highly likely that we would have responded to it, but again, with our investigators furloughed, it’s impossible to do that," she said.
Eight people were killed when a bus carrying church members of the Young at Heart program had what Tennessee Highway Patrol calls "an issue" with its front tire. The bus jumped the median and rammed, head-on, into a tractor-trailer and an SUV traveling in the opposite direction. Six members of the church were killed, as well as one person each in both of the vehicles.
The tractor-trailer is believed to have caught fire after the accident, though whether it was the source is now unlikely to be determined. Under normal circumstances, NTSB investigators would spend up to a week at the scene, attempting to determine the cause of the accident, and compile a report for purposes of criminal prosecution or insurance claims.
However, because of the shutdown, no such report will be forthcoming.
Watch Today's story on the crash and investigation below.