1 child dead, at least 45 others injured after Memphis youth football team bus crash

SALINE COUNTY, Ark. — An Orange Mound football team crashed in Saline County near Little Rock, Arkansas, according to the coach.

Arkansas State Police say one child is dead and at least 45 others were injured, including adults, after the fatal crash.

According to Aspire Public Schools, the child that died went to Aspire Coleman Elementary School. The district has also confirmed four students on the bus also attended Aspire Coleman Elementary.

Kameron Johnson, 9, was identified by the county coroner as the only victim who was killed in the crash.

Investigators told FOX13 the driver lost control of the bus, causing it to roll off the interstate west of Benton, Arkansas.

We've learned that the bus was owned by Scott Shuttle Service of Somerville, Tennessee.

The OMYA Elite youth football team was headed back to Memphis after an All-Star game in Dallas, Texas.

Children aboard the bus were 8 to 12 years old. Coach Elliot with the football team told FOX13 the team was a part of the Orange Mound Youth League.

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The accident happened around 2:40 a.m. on I-30 near the Highway 70 access ramp.

More than 40 people were on board the bus at the time of the crash.

Multiple children were trapped at the time of the accident.

One of the coaches for the league spoke with FOX13 following the crash. Edwar Roberson has coached in the league since 2013, but he was in Memphis at the time of the deadly crash.

“We all just gotta come together,” said Roberson. “We just gotta find some way to come together for the families.”

Roberson was struggling to deal with the news of the crash in Arkansas.

“You go to the championship game, these tournaments,” Roberson said. “You never think something like this is going to happen. No, not by a long shot.”

The Arkansas Children's Hospital has received 26 patients to the emergency room from the bus crash.

The injuries treated in the trauma center were primarily fractures and lacerations, according to hospital officials.

As of 3 p.m. Monday, all of the children there are in stable condition, and 22 have already been discharged to their families.

According to officials, two children had emergency surgeries -- one for a skull fracture, the other for a broken arm.

A family center has also been set up at the at the main entrance of the hospital.

Those injured after have been taken to hospitals in Little Rock and Benton.

Here's a breakdown of where the patients are across the Little Rock area.

  • Baptist Hospital - 3 patients have been treated and released
  • Arkansas Children's Hospital - 26 patients, all stable condition (22 have been released)
  • Saline Memorial - 13 patients (all have been released)
  • CHI St. Vincent - 3 patients (1 adult, 2 children. All have been released)
  • UAMS - 1 patient

Aspire Public Schools released the following statement concerning the accident -- 

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 Achievement School District, Aspire Public Schools, and School Seed Foundation are partnering to collect funds to support the family of Johnson.

According to officials, the fund is to help pay for funeral expenses. You can find more information about donating here.

We spoke with Coach Elliot who coaches one of the football teams, he was devastated by the crash.

"We just want to play some football and represent our city - then this happens. I love all them boys and coaches, just don’t know how to stop crying."

Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland released the following statement regarding the incident.

Shelby County Schools has released a statement offering assistance to the families.

SCS is partnering with the SchoolSeed Foundation to raise more for the families impacted by the accident.

The American Red Cross of Arkansas is also offering assistance to families involved with the bus crash.