Just days ago Ramah Juco Academy loaded up their football team and was on their way to one of the first games of the season, against University of God’s Chosen in Raeford NC, when tragedy struck. An eight-year-old boy is among the four dead in this fatal bus accident on I-74 near Rockingham, NC. This tremendous loss of life is devastating.
The driver, Brian Kilpatrick, 21-year-old Devonte Gibson, and 19-year-old Teto Hamilton were also killed in the accident.
The crash occurred near mile marker 316 in Richmond County. After many hours of being closed US-74 finally reopened around midnight. Forty-six people were on the bus when it crashed according to Lieutenant Jeff Gordan with NC Highway Patrol. Outside of the four fatalities everyone else was sent to area hospitals with injuries ranging from mild too critical. Three students were flown to other hospitals due to more serious injuries. Only one person who was transported to the hospital sustained no injuries.
“I’ve been this job for 23 years now. I’ve seen my fair share and this is one of the worst, especially when you have a group of students, young people just starting their lives, going to a football game.” Gordan said.
Eight people remain in serious condition following the accident, and 22 have been released from area hospitals. Tyreak Thompson is one of the football players that have been released. He said he was dozing, and remembers the bus hitting the railing in the median.
“I was half asleep, then when I opened my eyes, we had hit the rail, and that’s all I remember.” Thompson said.
The driver was from Chester SC. The other victims Devonte Gibson and Darice Hicks were from Rock Hill and Teto Hamilton is from Pahokee Fl.
Mychal Frost issued a statement on behalf of Rock Hill Schools, “Our thoughts and prayers are with the Hicks family and all other families impacted by this tragedy.” Darice Hicks was a third grader at Ebenezer Avenue Elementary School in Rock Hill.
Troopers on the scene believe a blown out front tire caused the driver to lose control of the bus and crash into the median.
“Accidents like this are senseless and the loss of life, especially young people’s lives, are so very tragic. This is why equipment carrying our precious students’ needs to be consistently evaluated to prevent horrific accidents like this one.” said Joe Sandefur, managing partner of a top personal injury firm in Myrtle Beach at joeandmartin.com/myrtle-beach.
Four people lost their lives because of an over worn tire that more than likely needed to be replaced. Before loading up our students for sporting events or field trips these buses need to be check over for any sign of a problem. School staff and students are much too precious to put on the road with faulty equipment and risk their lives.
If you have been injured in a car accident through no fault of your own, you need to contact a car accident lawyer in Myrtle Beach right away and let them help you with your personal injury lawsuit.