MEMPHIS, Tenn. — The victim of Monday’s fatal crash of a bus carrying Memphis-area youth football players was a third-grader at Aspire Coleman Elementary in the Raleigh area, Aspire Public Schools officials said.
The Saline County, Arkansas coroner confirmed 9-year-old Kameron Johnson, known by the nickname KamKam, was the child killed in the wreck. He was a team member of the Memphis Wolfpack youth football team.
At least four of the children on the bus were also middle-school and elementary students at Aspire schools. The charter company runs three schools in Memphis.
“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 schools said in a statement.
Authorities say the driver of the bus Eula Jarrett, 65, lost control causing it to roll off Interstate 30 in Saline County, Arkansas early Monday morning.
The crash left one child dead and 45 others injured, 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 and their chaperones were already off the bus, state police spokesman Bill Sadler stated.
The children were between the ages of eight and 13 years old. The injured were taken to hospitals in Benton and Little Rock. Two were airlifted, Sadler said
The players — who represented several different teams, including the Tipton County Crush, Memphis Wolfpack, Wildcats, Giants and Cowboys — had played in an all star championship game over the weekend in Texas. They were headed home when the accident happened.
“Devastating. I mean absolutely devastating,” said J.T. Bragaw, director and coach of Tipton County Crush, one of the teams whose players were on the bus.
“My gut came out of my stomach,” he said. “We’re a family. OMYA (Orange Mound Youth Association) is a family, ain’t nothing but that, and this just proves it even more.”
Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland and Shelby County Mayor Lee Harris 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,” Strickland tweeted.
“I am devastated by the news of the deadly bus crash in Arkansas. My heart goes out to the parents and the entire Orange Mound community during this unthinkable tragedy,” Harris wrote.
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.
— Mayor Jim Strickland (@MayorMemphis) December 3, 2018
I am devastated by the news of the deadly bus crash in Arkansas. My heart goes out to the parents and the entire Orange Mound community during this unthinkable tragedy.
— Mayor Lee Harris (@MayorLeeHarris) December 3, 2018
Arkansas Children’s Hospital said they received 26 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 children were ages 9-13, Arkansas Children’s Hospital officials said, and 22 of them had been released by 2:30 p.m. Monday. Most injuries were broken bones and lacerations.
The bus was owned by Scott Shuttle Service of Somerville, Tennessee.
Just over a year ago, on Nov. 18, 2017, Scott Shuttle Service was involved in a crash in Jackson, Tennessee.
Federal records show there were no injuries, but one of the vehicles involved had to be towed. Records also noted the road surface condition was listed as “wet” during the crash.
Scott Shuttle Service has also faced fines in the past.
According to online records maintained by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, the company paid a fine of $3490 in July of 2018 for allowing an employee to drive without the proper Commercial Driver’s License or permit.
The company was issued an acute/critical violation for the problem during a May compliance review, then fined in July.
The FMCSA also issued Scott Shuttle Service a $3250 penalty in 2015 after inspectors couldn’t find records of vehicles having gone through an annual inspection.
Scott Shuttle Service had four inspections in 2017 and 2018. Regulators issued five, vehicle maintenance violations during those inspections. None of them required the company to take its buses out of service.
As of May 2018, the company had a satisfactory safety rating.
Shelby County Schools is partnering with School Seed Memphis to raise money to help the families involved in the crash. You can donate here.
There is nothing more devastating than the loss of a child, and our hearts are broken for the families impacted by the bus accident this morning. We are partnering with @SchoolSeedMEM to collect funds to help the families impacted by this accident. https://t.co/NC6qKWyGRX
— Shelby Co. Schools (@SCSK12Unified) December 3, 2018