Former American Heritage football standout killed in N.C. bus crash

September 18, 2016

Aformer standout football player at American Heritage Schoolwas one of four people killed Saturday in a bus crash near Rockingham, N.C.

Tito Hamilton, 19, died after a bus carrying members of a South Carolina junior-college football team crashed into a bridge after a front tire burst, according to a North Carolina Highway Patrol spokesman.

Hamilton, a 6-foot-3, 300-pound offensive lineman, helped lead American Heritage to the 2014 Class 3A state championship game where it lost to Jacksonville-Trinity Christian.

American Heritage athletic director Brad Tremper confirmed Hamilton’s death, but declined further comment Sunday.

Hamilton was on a bus was carrying members of the Ramah Juco Academy football team — mostly made up of students from Clinton College, a Christian school from Rock Hill, S.C. — that was headed from Rock Hill to Fayetteville, N.C. to play a game Saturday when the crash took place.

Hamilton, 19, the bus driver, a 19-year-old man and a 10-year-old boy were killed in the crash. Authorities said 42 people were taken to hospitals with injuries ranging from minor to critical. Only one bus passenger emerged from the crash unhurt.

Parents of some of the players, who were following the bus to the game, saw the crash and pulled over to help the injured, according to news reports.

Ramah Juco Academy and their scheduled opponent’s for Saturday’s game — University of God’s Chosen — are made up of junior and community college students who play football but don’t attend a college with a team.

In his senior season at American Heritage, Hamilton helped lead the Stallions to a team rushing record with nearly 4,000 yards. Hamilton transferred to American Heritage as a senior after earning honorable mention to the Post’s 2014 all-area team as a junior when he attended Park Vista High School.