Local News

Tire failure named the cause of fatal football team bus crash

Posted September 28, 2016 11:29 a.m. EDT
Updated September 28, 2016 11:42 a.m. EDT

— The North Carolina State Highway Patrol on Wednesday morning said that tire failure was the cause of a fatal bus crash near Rockingham earlier this month.

According to investigators, a 1993 MCI motor coach bus, carrying the Ramah Jucco Academy football team, from Rock Hill, S.C., was traveling east on U.S. 74 bypass in Richmond County when the front left tire blew out.

The tire caused the bus to "travel out of control into the median where is struck a guardrail before colliding into a concrete bridge support," according to a news release.

The driver, Brian Andre Kirkpatrick, 43, and Devonte Gibson, 21, Tito Hamilton, 19, and Darice Hicks, 10, died.

The bus was registered to Sandy River Baptist Church in Chesterfield, S.C. A post-crash inspection of the motor coach determined the following civil penalty violations against the carrier:

  • Failure to have financial responsibility for a “for hire” passenger carrying vehicle
  • Failure to have a I.F.T.A. Fuel Tax Registration (International Fuel Tax Agreement)
  • Failure to have the carrier name marked properly on both sides of the vehicle
  • Failure to have the proper “apportioned registration plates

No criminal charges will be filed.