Child dies, 40 hurt as youth football bus crashes

BENTON, Ark. — A charter bus carrying a youth football team from Tennessee crashed early Monday in central Arkansas, killing one child and injuring at least 40 other people, according to authorities.

Arkansas State Police said the wreck happened along Interstate 30 near Benton, about 25 miles southwest of Little Rock, as the bus carried the team from Texas to Memphis, Tennessee.

Memphis TV station WMC reports that the football team was from the Orange Mound Youth Association in Tennessee and had played in a tournament in Dallas over the weekend. The TV station reports that the children are of elementary school age.

Police said most of the injured are children who were taken to hospitals in Little Rock and Benton. 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.

State police said the bus overturned after driving off the interstate. The bus driver is being questioned by police.

Orange Mound is a historically black neighborhood in southeast Memphis. The community comes together around its youth football teams, where kids train to be part of the highly competitive Melrose High School squad.

The community was created for and by African-Americans after the Civil War, and black-owned businesses flourished there until desegregation enabled residents to live elsewhere.

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