While meaningful data on bus accidents is difficult to obtain, primarily due to the overlapping jurisdictions of agencies like the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the National Transportation Safety Board, and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, bus accidents are a common occurrence. Though charter bus drivers are well trained and usually must hold a commercial driver’s license, accidents do happen. In 2015, there were 257 fatal commercial bus accident injuries. 35 of these deaths occurred on “unscheduled” buses, which did not include services like Greyhound or Amtrak, or inter-city bus services.
The Commercial Appeal reports on a fatal charter bus accident involving several youth football players returning to Tennessee from a Texas tournament.
A caravan of about 260 children, adult coaches, and chaperones left Fort Worth, Texas, at about 10:30 p.m. on Sunday. They consisted of a collection of players from the Orange Mound Youth Association. They were returning to Memphis, Tennessee, after competing in the Big Tex tournament in Fort Worth.
At about 2:40 a.m. on Interstate 30 west of Benton, Arkansas, one of the bus drivers reported having to swerve. This caused the bus to flip, according to a witness inside the bus, 15 to 20 times.
24 patients were taken to Children’s Hospital in Little Rock. Saline Memorial reported that it treated 13 accident victims, including the witness, 51-year-old Damous Hailey. All but one patient treated at Saline Memorial was released before noon.
Sadly, one child did die in the accident. The child’s name has not been released.
The bus that crashed was owned by Scott Shuttle Service of Somerville, Tennessee.
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