CBS affiliate THV11 told WREG a charter bus was traveling along I-30 in Saline County early Monday morning when it left the roadway and overturned multiple times. He said he couldn't find his cellphone, so he used one of the children's phones to call 911.
Hailey said there were seat belts on the bus, but he didn't know how many people were wearing them. At least one person has been confirmed dead and more than 40 others injured. Officials at Arkansas Children's also moved quickly to establish a family reunification area, while state troopers have questioned the driver of the bus, which appears to have crashed near a highway exit with a sharp curve.
The team from the Orange Mound Youth Association - a football program in a historically black neighborhood of Memphis that has rallied around the youth football teams - was en route from Dallas, where it competed on Sunday.
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Authorities haven't talked about what caused the crash that happened under the cloak of darkness. The bus was hoisted upright and pulled from the scene late Monday morning. By the time first responders arrived numerous players -who were between the ages of eight and 13 years old - and their chaperones were already off the bus, state police spokesman Bill Sadler stated. Arkansas Children's took 24 patients, and all are in stable condition.
"When troopers arrived at the scene, numerous children were already off of the bus", Sadler told CNN.
Orange Mound was created after the Civil War by and for African-Americans, and black-owned businesses flourished there until desegregation enabled residents to live elsewhere. Arkansas Children's Hospital in Little Rock said it received more than 20 patients following the morning crash, though no information about the severity of the injuries was immediately available.