Sunday marks anniversary of fatal bus crash carrying Ramah Juco football team

By: DaShawn Brown

Updated:

ROCK HILL, S.C. - One year after tragedy, the Ramah Juco Academy football team based out of Rock Hill is ready to hit the field again.

[PAST COVERAGE: Federal investigation of deadly charter bus wreck that killed 4 is closed]

Eyewitness News reporter DaShawn Brown caught up with the team as it brings a new outlook to this season, and try to move on from the devastation that struck last year.

“Because that's what they would want,” said Derrick Crawford, one of Ramah Juco's coaches.

[PAST COVERAGE: 'I thought it was all a dream,' survivor said of football bus crash that killed 4]

Sunday marks the first anniversary since the team bus crashed on its way to Fayetteville for its first game of the season.


Four people were killed and 42 others were rushed to area hospitals.

[PAST COVERAGE: 8-year-old among 4 killed in Rock Hill football team bus crash]

Darice Hicks, 8, Teto Hamilton, 19, Devonte Gibson, 21, and bus driver Brian Andre Kirkpatrick, 43, died in the crash, troopers said.

[IMAGES: 4 dead, 42 injured in charter bus crash]

Ramah Juco player Tyreak Thompson was on the bus when it crashed, and afterward the York County native said he wasn't sure if he would ever play football again.

A year later, he is on the field.


[RELATED: Troopers: Blown tire caused deadly charter bus crash; no charges filed]

“I had a heavy heart. It just didn't feel right,” Thompson said. “It just felt like something was taken away from me.”

Danny Todd Jr. was on last year’s team and said playing is what his teammates would want.

“They always talked about football, be great,” Todd said. “So I'm going to be great this year.”

[RELATED: Nearly one year after deadly bus crash, football team returns to field]

The team rescheduled their season opener because of the threat from Hurricane Irma.

Their first game will be next Saturday in Norfolk, Va.

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