8-year-old among 4 killed in charter bus crash in Rockingham

Highway Patrol identified the four people killed in a charter bus crash in Rockingham Saturday afternoon.

ROCKHILL, SC - Four people, including an 8-year-old boy, died and 42 were taken to the hospital Saturday when a charter bus carrying a football team from Ramah Juco Academy of Rock Hill crashed.

The Rama Juco Academy was traveling to play a football game against University of God's Chosen Disciples in Fayetteville when the crash occurred.

 

 

 

 

According to the North Carolina State Highway Patrol the 1993 MCI motor coach bus was traveling east on US74 when the front left tire blew, causing the vehicle to travel out of control into the median.

"I was just listening to music, and then out of nowhere the tire popped," Raqwon Corbitt-Washington said. "The bus driver couldn't control it, he tried his best but he couldn't."

"It was crazy, I'd never seen anything like that before," he said. 

Angela, Corbit-Washington's mother, will never forget the phone call she received. "He called me, he was just horrified," she said. "He said this person wasn't breathing, he was trying to keep his friend from going in and out. All I could think was thank God my child is okay."

Others were not so lucky.

Injuries of the 42 people taken to the hospital varied from minor to critical, said the NCHP. The driver of the bus, 43-year-old Brian Andre Kirkpatrick of Chester, was among those who died. Devonte Gibson, 21, of Rock Hill, and Tito Hamilton, 19, of Pahokee, Fla. were also killed. Darice Hicks, an 8-year-old from Rock Hill was killed in the crash. 

Those who survived the crash were still being treated at hospitals for critical injuries Sunday night.

Many of the players are students at Clinton College in Rockhill. 

"I heard people screaming," crash survivor Terrill Gateway recalled, fighting tears. He walked away with minor injuries. "Just pray for the families, the victims, they were hard working friends."

NBC Charlotte's Mike Hanson was told that family members of the players were following the bus and witnessed the crash.

Derrick Crawford of Ramah Juco Academy took to Facebook Saturday morning to promote the "very first College prep football game that will be played in Fayetteville NC today."

The speed limit in the area the bus was traveling is 70 mph. All westbound lanes were closed on Interstate 74 following the incident.

According to Ramah Jucco's website, the 'Ramah Rams Athletics' athletic program is, "a new two-year program that's dedicated to giving a second chance to those that have made mistakes academically and those that are looking for a place to leave it on the field."

The Ramah Jucco Program lists Saturday's game as their inaugural game.

The President of University of God's Chosen took to Facebook to express thoughts for RJA's team. 

Copyright 2016 WCNC


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