In Arkansas today, one child was pronounced dead and at least 45 other individuals were injured after their driver lost control of their bus, causing it to leave the highway and overturn.
The Arkansas State Police said the bus was returning the Orange Mound youth football team to Memphis, Tennessee, early Monday morning after a championship football game in Dallas over the weekend. The crash happened at about 2:40 a.m. along Interstate 30 near Benton, Arkansas.
Most of the children on the bus were reported injured and were transported to various local hospitals. Arkansas Children Hospital in Little Rock tweeted that it received over 20 patients at the ER.
“On behalf of all Memphians, our hearts and prayers go out to the Orange Mound children and their families involved in this morning’s tragic bus accident in Arkansas,” tweeted Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland.
The vehicle was described in news reports as a “white bus.” The owner of the bus was listed as Scott Shuttle Service of Somerville, Tennessee. The company operates motor coaches.
The bus was owned by Scott Shuttle Service of Somerville, Tennessee. School Transportation News left a phone message with the company that was not returned at the time of this report.
According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, Scott Shuttle Service had a safety rating of “satisfactory,” as of Sunday. The company is owned by Alex and Susan Scott. It operates five vehicles and employs seven drivers.
But On May 9, FMCSA documented that a compliance review investigation resulted in the company violating 383.37(a), “knowingly allowing, requiring, permitting, or authorizing an employee to operate a CMV during any period in which the driver does not have a current CLP or CDL or does not have a CLP or CDL with the proper class or endorsements. An employer may not use a driver to operate a CMV who violates any restriction on the driver’s CLP or CDL,” according to the FMCSA webpage.
It was also cited for four vehicle maintenance violations, including: oil and/or grease leak, damaged or discolored windshield, inoperable tail lamp and inspection, repair and maintenance of parts and accessories.
That case was closed on July 24 and the company paid a $3,490 fine.
FMCSA also noted that a vehicle inspection conducted on May 8 uncovered a damaged or discolored windshield, oil and/or grease leaks, and an inoperable tail lamp.
According to the FMCSA, one of the company’s motorcoaches was also involved in a nonfatal crash on Nov. 18, 2017.
Editor’s Note: STN will update this post as more information becomes available.