A bus driven by an illegal immigrant without a driver’s license crashed into an ongoing accident scene, causing the deaths of two people and leaving 41 more injured. St. John Fire District Chief Spencer Chauvin, 36, has been identified as one of the fatalities.
Denis Yasmir Amaya Rodriguez, the illegal immigrant driving the bus full of Louisiana flood relief workers, was arrested at the scene. Every passenger on the charter bus was injured, the Daily Mail reports. Multiple individuals were airlifted to trauma centers in the region.
Jermaine Starr, 21, of Moss Point, Mississippi, was sitting in the backseat of one of the vehicles hit by the bus and died at the scene. Firefighter William Mack Beal, 35, of Gonzales, sustained moderate injuries and was transported to a local hospital for treatment. Firefighter Nicholas Saale, 32, of Ponchatoula, was airlifted to a trauma center in New Orleans with critical injuries.
One of those killed in today’s horrific crash on I-10 has been identified St. John Fire Dist Chief Spencer Chauvin. pic.twitter.com/3PCdD8c3jf
— WWL-TV (@WWLTV) August 28, 2016
The accident occurred on Sunday morning near Laplace, Louisiana, on Interstate 10. The St. John Fire Department engine was parked in the left lane of oncoming traffic. The charter bus driven by the illegal immigrant slammed into the parked fire truck, knocking three firefighters over a guardrail. The St. John the Baptist Parish Office of Fire Services had been on the scene dealing with a motor vehicle accident involving a truck crash when Denis Rodriguez plowed into the cordoned off area of the highway, the NY Daily News reports.
The charter bus reportedly swerved across the road before hitting a stopped car and knocking the firefighters into the guardrail and 35 feet into the water below. First responders were forced to radio the emergency dispatcher to urgently call for help for some of their own.
“The bus driver lost control of the bus, struck a fire truck, veered across the right lane, striking other vehicles, then veered and struck three firefighters, who, all three, were thrown over the guardrail,” Louisiana State Police trooper Melissa Matey said, according to a KTLA News report.
The bus driver, identified as Denis Yasmir Amaya Rodriguez, 37, of Honduras, will be arrested on two counts of… https://t.co/rwWlCNPmSR
— Jim Brown (@Menorahblog) August 29, 2016
The bus driven by Denis Rodriguez was owned by Kristina’s Transportation LLC/AM Party Bus out of Jefferson, Louisiana. There has been no comment from the company to the media. Some journalists, who attempted to call the business to ask why an illegal immigrant was driving the business, were met with only a notice the phone line had been disconnected.
“This is a very sad day for all first responders in Louisiana,” Colonel Mike Edmonson, Louisiana State Police superintendent, said. “Louisiana has the ‘move over’ law in place to protect our first responders on our roadways. Please adhere to this law and slow down when approaching emergency vehicles and disabled vehicles on the road.”
According to Louisiana State Police reports, a trooper parked his cruiser near the fire truck to alert oncoming traffic that they needed to stop. Both emergency vehicles had their flashing lights rolling to warn drivers about the accident. A Toyota Camry and a Chevy Silverado were stopped behind the emergency vehicles.
The 2002 Eldorado National bus was reportedly speeding when is encountered the crash scene. When the illegal immigrant bus driver swerved as it neared the stopped cars and emergency vehicles, it hit the rear end of the Camry and shoved it into the Silverado. The chain reaction crash caused the three Louisiana firefighters to be knocked over the guardrail.
“It is a sad day in St. John the Baptist Parish as we lost one of the bravest and most dedicated firefighters that I know,” parish president Natalie Robottom said in a media release. “This was a horrific accident and one that is still very active. 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.”
DENIS YASMIR AMAYA RODRIGUEZ,ILLEGAL ALIEN FROM HONDURAS BRINGS THE DEATH OF FIRE DISTRICT CHIEF SPENCER CHAUVIN https://t.co/kYjbImq4aM
— Patentax Dot Com (@patentax) August 29, 2016
The Toyota Camry driver, Marcus Tate, 35 of Moss Point, sustained serious injuries and was transported via helicopter to a trauma center in Baton Rouge. Two other passengers in the car, Vontravous Kelly and David Jones, both also from Moss Point, were sent to an area hospital for treatment. Kelly is reportedly in critical condition and Jones is in serious condition.
The Chevy Silverado contained three adults and two children, all from Kenner, Louisiana. The driver and passengers reportedly sustained minor to moderate injuries and were transported to a local hospital for treatment.
[Image via Shutterstock]