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Posted: December 04, 2018

'We have kids everywhere': 911 call from deadly bus crash details horrific scene

Multiple Injured in Fatal Arkansas Charter Bus Crash

By Winnie Wright,

BENTON, Ark. —

A 9-year-old is dead and dozens of other children were injured after their bus driver lost control and slammed into a ravine on an Arkansas highway.

>> Watch the news report here

WHBQ in Memphis, Tennessee, obtained emergency calls from the incident, which shed some light on the moments following the horrific crash. Around 2:40 a.m. Monday, the 911 call went out.

“We are on a van … a bus. Our bus just flipped,” a man tells the 911 dispatcher.

>> On Child killed, dozens others injured after Memphis youth football team's bus crashes

A charter bus filled with children had just overturned on an Arkansas highway – southwest of Little Rock. It was carrying members of the Orange Mound Youth Association football league, which had been in Dallas, Texas for a championship game.

“How many people are hurt?” the dispatcher asked.

“We have kids everywhere,” the coach responded. “We have a lot of kids hurt. I don’t know.”

The Saline County Coroner identified the boy who was killed in the crash as nine-year-old Kameron Johnson. One of his coaches provided WHBQ with a photo.

>> On Fox13Memphis: Memphis boy, 9, killed in charter bus crash identified

On the 911 call, children are crying in the background.

“We’re stuck. We’re stuck,” you can hear.

The caller told dispatch nearly half the passengers were stuck inside.

A fire chief on the scene told WHBQ that seven fire departments, at least three helicopters, and as many as 12 ambulances responded.

An excerpt of the 911 call details that chaotic scene of the crash.

“I heard you saying somebody was stuck. Is there somebody stuck inside the bus?”

“Yes. The kids are still on the bus.”

“Are the stuck under something or are you just not able to get the bus open?”

“It’s stuck, flipped, bad.”

“I understand that sir. Now is the door to the bus stuck? Or are they stuck under something inside the bus?”

“They’re stuck inside the bus.”

In total, the Office of Emergency Management said 46 patients went to five Little Rock-area hospitals.

The bus driver was thrown through the window. The caller described what he saw in detail to the dispatcher.

>> Read more trending news 

“The bus driver is stuck out the window."

“The bus driver is stuck out the window? He’s hanging out the window?”


“Is (she) awake or is (she) unconscious?”

“She’s awake.”

“Did (she) go through the window?”


“And she’s stuck halfway in it?”


The driver told Arkansas State Police she lost control of the bus. The bus crashed on an off ramp – getting off the bus’s intended route.

The speed limit on that exit is 25.

WHBQ was the only station there as the bus was towed to an impound lot for further investigation.


Josh Briggs/Saline Courier via AP

'We have kids everywhere': 911 call from deadly bus crash details horrific scene

Josh Briggs/Saline Courier via AP

'We have kids everywhere': 911 call from deadly bus crash details horrific scene

Employees from a wrecker service work to remove a charter bus from a roadside ditch Monday, Dec. 3, 2018, after it crashed alongside Interstate 30 near Benton, Ark.

9-year-old Memphis boy killed in charter bus crash identified; almost 50 kids injured

A Memphis elementary school student who was killed in a charter bus crash Monday in Saline County, Arkansas, has been identified  by the county coroner.

>> Read more trending news 

Kameron Johnson, 9 – known by family and friends as Kam Kam – died in the accident and almost 50 others were injured when the bus carrying a youth football team home from the Dallas-Fort Worth area crashed on Interstate 30 early Monday morning.

Kameron was a third-grade student at Aspire Coleman Elementary School. The district released the following statement.

It is with a heavy heart that we share unfortunate news about Aspire Public School Memphis scholars who were involved in a tragic accident. This morning, a bus carrying a youth Orange Mound Football team crashed outside of Little Rock, Arkansas. We have confirmed with family members that at least four Aspire scholars were on that bus. The one fatality was an Aspire scholar.

In a news conference Monday afternoon, the district said three of its students were treated at an Arkansas hospital, but one of them lost his life. 

“Just full of life. Full of energy. Full of potential,” Aspire Public Schools Supt. Dr. Nickalous Manning said when asked about Kam Kam. “It’s hard to put into words what the future had for him. He’s definitely a young person who is near and dear to our hearts.”

Dr. Manning said the young man made a profound impact on everyone he met, and the loss is hitting those close to him extremely hard.

“You could see it on their face what this young person meant to them, to the community, to teachers, and the adults here,” he said.

Original story: The crash happened around 2:40 a.m. CST at mile marker 111 in Saline County, just west of Benton, according to Arkansas State Police. Investigators told WHBQ the bus driver lost control of the vehicle, causing it to roll off the interstate and overturn.

The bus was carrying the OMYA Elite youth football team from the Orange Mound neighborhood of Memphis, Tennessee, WHBQ reported. The group was returning home after an all-star game in Dallas.

The child killed in Monday’s crash was a student at Aspire Coleman Elementary school, school district officials told WHBQ. Children on the bus Monday morning were between the ages of 8 and 12, the news station reported.

At least 44 people were taken to area hospitals after the crash, including 20 people who were taken to the Arkansas Children’s Hospital emergency room, WHBQ reported.

The bus driver survived the crash and is being questioned, police said.

Read more here.

– WHBQ in Memphis, Tennessee, contributed to this report.



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