Louisiana bus crash kills 2, injures firefighters, passengers

Louisiana State Police confirmed two people were killed when a bus and firetruck collided on a highway Sunday. 

Among the dead was St. John the Baptist Parish district fire chiefSpencer Chauvin.

Several dozen people were injured, including two other firefighters, when the charter bus and firetruck collided, The Times-Picayune reported.

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St. John the Baptist Parish President Natalie Robottom said in a statement that Chauvin was "one of the bravest and most dedicated firefighters that I know."

"Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family, as well as to the families of the other two firefighters involved in the accident," Robottom said. "This type of loss will affect the entire department, and they will have our full support as they deal with the grief of losing a comrade. It is heartbreaking, especially after this same group of individuals helped to guide St. John the Baptist Parish safely through Hurricane Isaac."

Fire personnel were responding to an incident on Interstate 10 when a tour bus of volunteers going to assist flood victims in Baton Rouge hit the firetruck, The Times-Picayune reported. 

Chauvin and two other firefighters who were standing on the side of the road at the time of the collision, were injured when they were thrown over the guardrail, Trooper Melissa Matey told The New Orleans Advocate. Forty-one people were taken from the scene with various injuries.

One firefighter is in critical but stable condition and the other has moderate injuries, the Advocate reported.

A second person died while driving a Toyota Camry that was also hit by the bus, Matey said.

Criminal charges are pending for the driver of the bus, identified as Denis Rodriguez, 37, of Honduras.

State police said he is an undocumented immigrant, does not have a driver's license and was not authorized to drive a commercial vehicle, WDSU reported.

Rodriguez remains in a hospital, where he is being treated for injuries.

Read more at the Advocate.

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