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Report: Speed a factor in fatal crash of bus carrying Orange Mound football team

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — An initial police report indicates a charter bus carrying elementary school-age football players from Orange Mound in Memphis was going too fast when it rolled off an Arkansas interstate last month and overturned, killing a 9-year-old and injuring at least 45 others.

A recently released Arkansas State Police crash report says the driver was exiting Interstate 30 near Benton, 25 miles east of Little Rock, on Dec. 3 when she applied her brakes. The report says the bus couldn’t slow before it left the roadway , struck a ditch and overturned.

The report notes “inattentive, careless, negligent or erratic” driving as a factor, but does not elaborate. A state police spokesman said Friday the crash is still under investigation and nothing has been forwarded to prosecutors seeking charges.

The accident happened about 2:40 a.m. on Dec. 3  as the Memphis Wolfpack — an Orange Mound Youth Association football team — made its way back from a football tournament in the Dallas area.

Most of the injured were children, who were taken to hospitals in Little Rock and Benton. The lone fatality was 9-year-old Kameron Johnson.

The team was riding a charter bus operated by Scott Shuttle Service in Somerville, Tenn. After the crash, the bus driver, 65-year-old Eula Jarrett of Tennessee, told state police that she lost control.

The heavily damaged bus came to a stop after tumbling down a steep embankment next to the crook of a sharp bend on an offramp. Conditions were clear and dry at the time of the crash, police said.


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