Bus Crash Kills 1 Child and Injures 45 People: 'We Started Just Flipping About 15 or 20 Times'

A heartbreaking scene unfolded near Benton, Arkansas, on Monday morning after a bus carrying a youth football team crashed.

Arkansas State Police said in a statement that one child died and 45 people were injured in the accident.

A few adults and about 40 kids were on the bus, the Memphis Commercial Appeal reported. The kids were between the ages of 7 to 12.

Kameron Johnson, 9, was identified as the child killed, The New York Times reported. In a press conference, an official from Aspire Coleman Elementary School in Memphis, Tennessee, said that the child who died was a third-grade student at the school.

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The Saline County coroner did not immediately return PEOPLE’s request for comment.

The group was on the bus for a happy occasion: The team had played in a Dallas championship game over the weekend and was en route to Memphis after its conclusion.

According to police, the driver said in a statement that “she lost control of the vehicle causing it to roll off Interstate 30” at 2:40 a.m. local time. Arkansas Children’s Hospital and hospitals in Saline County and Pulaski County are treating people injured in the crash.

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Damous Hailey, an adult on the bus, told the Commercial Appeal he “heard [the driver] swerve.”

“I was seated right behind her, and I knew immediately what was going on as we started just flipping about 15 or 20 times,” he said. “It went down a hill, over a service road and down another hill.”

At Arkansas Children’s Hospital, Dr. Todd Maxson told reporters that the crash was a “mass casualty event,” according to the Commercial Appeal. After the crash, 26 children were hospitalized there, and 22 had been released.

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“Very few are critically injured,” Maxson said. He noted that “significant fractures” were among the injuries.

Scott Shuttle Service — which is based in Somerville, Tennessee — owned the bus.

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