Authorities say 38-year-old Dederic Carpenter was hauling an empty tanker southbound on I-75 Friday morning when he swerved to avoid a deer and lost control.
The Monroe County Sheriff's Office said the tanker then slammed into a guardrail north of Sigler Road.
The tanker was hit by a charter bus that was filled with 9-and-10-year-old football players from the Southfield Jayhawks that were on their way to Tennessee for a national tournament.
The bus was a caravan of four -- only the lead bus was involved in the crash. Its driver, 57-year-old Kaye Chatman, managed to steer the bus out of the way of other traffic to safety after the impact.
Tony Chambers, one of the coaches for the Jayhawks, said Chatman's steady driving was no less than heroic.
"The entire driver's side of the bus was torn -- the driver was in pretty bad shape -- we're so thankful for the bus driver," Chambers said.
Chatman is hospitalized in Trenton, where she is being treated for serious injuries. Two of the young football players suffered minor head injuries. They were released from the hospital and insisted on continuing on with the team, though they won’t be allowed to play in the big tournament in Knoxville on Saturday.
The interstate was closed down in both directions for about two hours. Berlin Township is located about 30 miles southwest of Detroit and about 25 miles northeast of Toledo, Ohio.