4 dead after football team bus crashes in North Carolina

(Photo courtesy of MGN)

(Photo courtesy of MGN)

(CNN) — Four people were killed and dozens injured Saturday when a charter bus carrying a South Carolina private school’s football team crashed in North Carolina, CNN affiliate WTVD reported.

The team was traveling from Rock Hill, South Carolina, to play the University of God’s Chosen in Fayetteville, North Carolina, when it hit an overpass bridge on the Highway 74 bypass near the city of Hamlet, the North Carolina Highway Patrol said.

A preliminary investigation shows the front left tire of the bus blew, causing the bus to travel out of control into the median, the Highway Patrol said. The bus struck the median guardrail before sideswiping a concrete bridge column. It continued a short distance before coming to a stop.

Four people in the bus were killed and 42 others on the bus were taken to area hospitals, the Highway Patrol said. The injuries range from minor to critical.

Initial reports said the team was from the Ramah Jucco Academy in Rock Hill, but the Highway Patrol said the majority of the passengers were from Clinton College, also in Rock Hill. The patrol said it was unclear if they played for an off-campus football team.

Hamlet is about midway between Charlotte and Fayetteville.

The North Carolina Highway Patrol and the Richmond County Sheriff’s office are investigating, said Hamlet Fire Chief Calvin White.