We don’t normally cover much when it comes to junior college football, but, unfortunately, an absolute and utter tragedy has brought us to that level of the sport.
According to multiple media outlets, including the NBC affiliate in Charlotte, a bus carrying the members of a South Carolina junior college football crashed, killing four passengers and injuring 42 others. Eight of those injured were listed in serious condition at one local hospital, while two others were airlifted to another. The injured were taken to multiple hospitals; the conditions of those at the other hospitals are unknown.
Whether the dead were players, coaches, football staffers or some combination of the three has not been confirmed.
The North Carolina State Highway Patrol confirmed to WCNC-TV that several of the passengers were ejected from the bus.
USA Today writes that “the bus was carrying members of the Ramah Juco Academy football team, as well as some players from Clinton College, a christian school from Rock Hill, S.C.” The team was on its way to Fayetteville, NC, for a game Saturday when the accident occurred. From WNCN-TV:
University of God’s Chosen was set to play the Ramah team on Saturday afternoon at Lake Rim Park in Fayetteville, Terry told CBS North Carolina. Both teams are made up of junior or community college students who wish to play football, but don’t attend a school that has a team.
Ramah Juco Academy’s website says their program is new and that “we require that Ramah student athletes attend one of the local community colleges in the area.”
ABC11.com reports that the bus crashed into a highway overpass after blowing a tire. The television station did report that the team’s head coach was one of the 42 injured.
Some parents of the players were following the bus and stopped to provide aid until medical personnel arrived.