Southfield youth football team involved in I-75 crash

By: Jessica Strachan | Southfield Sun | Published November 16, 2012

The crash that closed southbound I-75 for several hours Friday morning in Monroe County involved a tanker and a bus carrying a Southfield youth football team.

Five players widely reported to be from the Southfield Jayhawks team suffered minor injuries from the crash that happened around 4:30 a.m. on the highway near 24 Mile and Newport Road, according to the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office.

The driver of the bus, 57-year-old Kay Chatman of Detroit, was injured and taken to Mercy Hospital in Monroe, with the five passengers.

Four tour buses were carrying the youth team — made up of players ages 7-14 — and their families, cheerleaders and coaches, and were headed to Knoxville, Tenn., for a national tournament.

According to the Sheriff’s Office, a 2005 Freightliner semitruck hauling an empty trailer was traveling southbound in the right lane on I-75 when the driver, 38-year-old Dedric Carpenter, swerved to avoid hitting a deer in the road.

Carpenter lost control of the truck and jackknifed, striking the inside guardrail and eventually stopping in the left and center lanes of the freeway.

Chatman’s bus, the first of the four buses, sideswiped the truck, according to the Sheriff’s Office. The bus carried 30 passengers.

Alcohol does not appear to have been a factor, according to authorities, and Carpenter was also treated at a nearby hospital.

The three other buses were not involved in the crash and continued on to the tournament.

The crash is under investigation by local authorities, according to the Sheriff’s Office, and anyone with information on the crash should call (734) 240-7768.