ROCKINGHAM, N.C. (UPI) — A charter bus carrying a football squad crashed in rural North Carolina Saturday afternoon, killing four and injuring 42.
A blown-out tire reportedly caused the bus crash near Rockingham, leaving it a mangled pile of metal on U.S. Route 74 in Richmond County, WNCN reported.
North Carolina State Highway Patrol Lt. Jeff Gordon said the crash occurred about 2:35 p.m.
The charter bus was hauling a group of college students from the Rock Hill, S.C., area. The Ramah Jucco Academy, a combination of students from various community colleges, were headed to play a game at Lake Rim Park in Fayetteville, NC. against the University of God’s Chosen, a similar football club.
The crash reportedly occurred when a left side front tire on the bus blew out, according to the highway patrol.
When the blow-out occurred, it caused the bus to go out of control and strike a median guardrail, then a concrete bridge column, CNN reported.
Four people on the bus died and 42 others were taken to area hospitals with injuries ranging from minor to critical.
Family members and fans traveling behind the bus saw it crash, officials said. The highway patrol and the Richmond County Sheriff’s office are investigating.