Six people were killed Thursday night in a two-vehicle crash on U.S. Highway 411 South, a Tennessee Highway Patrol spokesperson said.
The roadway was shut down in both directions by authorities for an undetermined amount of time.
Initial reports of the accident near Springview Baptist Church, 4220 U.S. 411 South, came in about 10 p.m.
There were three children killed in the crash, which happened when a vehicle going the wrong way on U.S. 411 South in Blount County hit a minivan carrying eight people head-on, Sgt. Bill Miller said. Miller says the drivers of both vehicles were killed.
In addition, the front passenger in the minivan was killed, as well as three children. Three others were injured, though the extent of their injuries wasn't clear. According to media reports, they were taken to the University of Tennessee Medical Center.
Police haven't released the names of those involved in the crash.
The highway, which was shut down after the crash, has reopened.
Highway Patrol Lt. Don Boshears said it was a difficult scene for first responders.
"It's terrible for first responders, it's terrible for everybody. These things, you know loss of life is so precious, and when you lose so much in one setting it's almost compounding," Boshears said. "I really don't know that I can explain it. We have adults and children who have both lost their lives and it's very, very tragic."
The Associated Press contributed to this report.