SALINE COUNTY — Authorities say the driver of the bus carrying an all-star youth football team lost control causing it to roll of Interstate 30 early Monday morning.
The crash left one child dead and 45 others injured, including the driver, 65-year-old Eula Jarrett of Tennessee, Arkansas State Police said.
According to police, the bus was just outside of Little Rock when it went off the road and flipped around 2:40 a.m.
By the time first responders arrived many of the players —who were between the ages of eight and 13 years old – and their chaperones were already off the bus, state police spokesman Bill Sadler stated.
The injured were taken to hospitals in Benton and Little Rock. Two were airlifted, Sadler said
State police confirmed the bus was carrying youth football players from the Memphis area. They had played in an all-star championship game over the weekend in Texas and were headed home when the accident happened.
Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland took to Twitter on Monday sending his thoughts and prayers to the children and families involved.
“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,” he tweeted.
THV11 identified one of the teams on the bus as the Memphis Wolfpack. There were several teams on the bus at the time that made the trip to represent the area.
Arkansas Children’s Hospital in Little Rock said they received over 20 children at its emergency room this morning. Those involved in the crash were also reportedly sent to Baptist Hospital, Saline Memorial, CHI St Vincent and UAMS.
The bus was owned by Scott Shuttle Service of Somerville, Tennessee.
According to reports, the company has had five violations, but nothing that required them to take any of their buses out of service.
However, they were issued a fine in July 2018 after one of their employees were caught driving without a CDL.
The company paid another fine in 2015, but it’s unclear what that was in regards to.