RALEIGH, NC (WBTW) – The NC Highway Patrol released their report Wednesday on the deadly crash involving a charter bus of football players that happened Saturday Sept. 17 in Richmond County.
According to investigators, a 1993 MCI Motor Coach Bus registered to Sandy River Baptist Church located in Chesterfield, S.C., was traveling east on U.S. 74 bypass near the city of Hamlet when the front left tire blew out. The tire caused the bus to travel into the median where it struck a guardrail before colliding into a concrete bridge support, the report from Highway Patrol said.
The collision resulted in the deaths of the driver, Brian Andre Kirkpatrick, and passengers Devonte Gibson, Tito Hamilton Jr., and Darice Hicks Jr..Officials confirm that 42 people were taken to various hospitals after the crash. At the time of the collision, the bus was traveling from Rock Hill to Fayetteville for a football game at the University of God’s Chosen.
After a thorough investigation of the collision, officials determined the collision was caused by tire failure.
The NC Highway Patrol’s Motor Carrier Inspection Unit, along with the assistance of the NTSB and FMCSA, conducted a post-crash inspection of the motor coach and charged Sandy River Baptist Church with four civil penalty violations. The violations include 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 and failure to have the proper “apportioned registration plates”.
No criminal charges will be filed, officials say.