Highway Patrol Releases Findings in Fatal Motor Coach Bus Collision on U.S.74 By-Pass


The North Carolina State Highway Patrol has completed its’ investigation into a deadly bus wreck that occurred on Saturday, September 17, 2016 that resulted in four deaths and countless injuries.

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 By-Pass near the city of Hamlet, N.C., 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. The collision resulted in the deaths of the driver, Brian Andre Kirkpatrick, 43, Chesterfield, S.C. and passengers Devonte Gibson, 21, of Rock Hill, S.C., Tito Hamilton Jr., 19, of Pahokee, F.L., and Darice Hicks Jr., 10, of Rock Hill, S.C. At the time of the collision, the bus was traveling from Rock Hill, S.C. to Fayetteville, N.C. to participate in a scheduled football game later that evening at the University of God’s Chosen.

After a thorough and comprehensive review of the collision, investigators have determined that the cause of the collision was contributed to tire failure.  In addition, the North Carolina State 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 determined the following civil penalty violations against the carrier. In this case, the carrier is Sandy River Baptist Church. The violations are as follows:

  • 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 in this matter.

A copy of the final completed collision report can be downloaded by simply visiting the following link: https://www2.ncdps.gov/Index2.cfm?a=000003%2C000014%2C002745.

All inquiries relating to the NTSB and FMCSA investigation/findings should be directed to their respective agency.

All questions/inquiries related to the State Highway Patrol’s findings, should be directed to Lt. Jeff Gordon, Public Information Officer at (919)306-7058 or Jeff.Gordon@ncdps.gov.


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