Four people died and 42 were injured after a charter bus carrying Rock Hill college football players wrecked near Rockingham Saturday afternoon, multiple media outlets reported.
The bus wrecked after a front tire blew out, the State Highway Patrol told reporters at the scene. The bus hit an overpass column on U.S. 74 Bypass near N.C. 177 at about 3:20 p.m., media outlets reported.
Many of the players attend Clinton College in Rock Hill, Lt. Jeff Gordon of the N.C. Highway Patrol told CBS affiliate WNCN.
WNCN reported that the students play for a football team that calls itself Ramah Juco Academy. The station quoted Jim Terry, who recruits players for the Raeford team near Fayetteville that Ramah was scheduled to play.
The teams consist of college students who want to play football but don’t attend a school that has a team, Terry told WNCN.
TV station photos showed heavy damage to the driver’s side of the bus.
All of the injured were taken to area hospitals, Chief Calvin White of Hamlet Fire and Rescue told the Richmond County Daily Journal.
Two were airlifted to a hospital in Chapel Hill, officials told CBS North Carolina.
Parents of some of the players were following the bus to the game, saw the crash and pulled over to help the injured, according to WBTV, the Observer’s news partner.
U.S. 74 was expected to remain closed into Saturday night as troopers investigate the wreck, according to the N.C. Department of Transportation.
Rockingham is about 70 miles east of Charlotte.