A school bus hit a Ford Mustang on Frederick Avenue in southwest Baltimore, demolishing the back of the car, Smith said. The bus continued east to a nearby cemetery, where it struck a pillar before continuing east and into oncoming traffic. It struck the driver's side of the MTA bus.
"(The school bus) basically ripped the entire driver's side off of the vehicle," Smith said.
The crash killed five people on the MTA bus and the driver of the school bus. Medics took eight other injured people from the MTA bus to local hospitals. One person, identified by Smith as an "aide," was injured on the school bus and one person in the Mustang was injured.
The injuries range from minor to critical, police said.
Authorities did not identify the victims, citing the need to notify next of kin.
"We can't speculate on the cause of the crash at this point," Smith said. "Something catastrophic took place and it's something that we're continuing to investigate."
Authorities did not find any skid marks in the area of the crash, indicating that the school bus driver never hit the bus' brakes. Officers are investigating to determine whether a medical emergency led up to the accident, although Smith said that determination would likely be made with help from the surviving victim who was on the school bus and a medical examination.
The bus was on its way to pick up a "young person," Smith said. He did not say how old the person was or say which school the bus was connected to.
Baltimore Police Commissioner Kevin Davis shared condolences Tuesday morning for the families of the victims.
"Obviously, folks who are on the bus (at) this time in the morning are working folks," he said at a news conference. "They're on their way to make a living … and they're on their way to support their families."
Police continue to investigate the crash.