Youth Football Team’s Bus Flips Several Times Leaving One Child Dead and 45 Others Injured

A charter bus carrying a youth football team rolled into an embankment early Monday morning, killing one child and injuring at least 45 others.

According to AP News, the crash occurred around 2 a.m. Monday morning along Interstate 30 near Benton, Arkansas. The team was returning to Memphis, Tennessee after playing in a tournament in Dallas, Texas over the weekend.

WMC Action News 5 reports, passengers included children between the ages of seven and 12 and four coaches.

A 9-year-old boy was killed in the crash and those injured were taken to local hospitals. Those at Arkansas Children’s Hospital are said to be in stable condition.

The hospital shared a tweet regarding the incident.

The post stated:

Arkansas Children’s Hospital in Little Rock has received over 20 patients at its ER from the bus accident on I-30. Families needing information should call the main hospital at 501-364-1100. A family center is set-up. Families can come to the main entrance & will be taken there.

One coach, who is now in a wheelchair, described his experience to WMC. He said:

“I was sitting in the very front seat, the bus driver was over there. All I heard was a swerve then it started flipped and went down a hill, and down another hill. After that we started trying to calm the kids down and get as many that we could off the bus.”

There were seat belts on the bus, but no one is sure how many were secured during the crash.

As Complex reports, the driver is being questioned by police, but officials do not believe weather played a role in the crash.

According to WMC, four of the students on the bus, including the deceased victim, were students at Aspire Public Schools in Memphis.

The school released this statement regarding the accident Monday afternoon:

It is with a heavy heart that we share unfortunate news about Aspire Public School Memphis scholars who were involved in a tragic accident. This morning, a bus carrying a youth Orange Mound Football team crashed outside of Little Rock, Arkansas. We have confirmed with family members that at least four Aspire scholars were on that bus. The one fatality was an Aspire scholar. This is a difficult time for all of us and we will have counselors available for our students and staff. We are providing support to these families and our scholars during their time of need.

The mayor of Memphis also sent his condolences to those affected by the crash.

He tweeted:

On behalf of all Memphians, our hearts and prayers go out to the Orange Mound children and their families involved in this morning’s tragic bus accident in Arkansas.

According to AP News, officials have released no further information about the severity of the victims’ injuries or the cause of the accident.