UPDATE 10/26/16: Denis Amaya-Rodriguez, the driver of the bus in this deadly crash, has plead not guilty to three counts of negligent homicide among other charges.
UPDATE: St. John Parish officials have announced that the driver of the bus has been booked into jail under multiple criminal counts including two counts of negligent homicide, reckless operation, and driving without a license. Additional charges are also forthcoming.
In light of this most recent update, it is now abundantly clear who caused the accident and subsequent injuries and deaths. This type of collision is completely avoidable and should never happen. Charter bus companies should never hire or allow an unlicensed driver behind the wheel of a large vehicle. Doing so puts other drivers on the road in danger of serious injury or death, which is exactly what happened in this tragic situation. One bad driver can cause a wreck, but a bad company can cause many wrecks through their negligent hiring or renting practices. Sadly, this is an all too common occurrence. This collision is eerily similar to one suffered by Fisher Injury Lawyer clients in New York, where an unqualified driver of a refrigerated box truck slammed into the back of multiple vehicles, causing catastrophic injuries. The driver in that wreck was also severely unqualified to be driving a deadly vehicle, and the company’s failure to adequately hire a responsible driver caused horrendous injuries to multiple innocent people.
Through representing those clients and many others, Fisher Injury Lawyers has gained extensive experience fighting against companies who put unlicensed or unqualified drivers behind the wheel of deadly vehicles like this one. Their attorneys have represented clients with catastrophic injuries from large vehicles all over the country, from New York to California. Give them a call or email today if you or someone you know has been injured by a a negligent or unlicensed driver.
ST. JOHN THE BAPTIST PARISH, LA (WVUE) –
The westbound lanes of Interstate 10 in Laplace are closed due to two separate traffic accidents that left two people dead and multiple people injured.
The accident happened around 6:40 a.m. Sunday near mile marker 203.
According to State Police, Troop B troopers and members of the St. John the Baptist Fire Department responded to an accident involving a pickup truck which came to rest in the right shoulder of the interstate. As crews were looking to close the roadway to help first responders on the scene, a west-bound charter bus lost control for unknown reasons and struck a fire engine on scene. Afterwards, the bus struck three firefighters, throwing them from the elevated portion of the interstate over the guard rail and into the water below.
One of the firefighters, identified as District Chief Spencer Chauvin with the St. John the Baptist Fire Department, was pronounced dead at River Parishes Hospital.
Police say that there were 30-40 passengers on the bus, all of which were reportedly injured with minor to moderate injuries. All were transported to local hospitals for treatment. Police say that those on board were travelling from New Orleans to Baton Rouge to assist with the flood recovery.
State police say that driver of the bus had no driver’s license nor a license to operate a commercial vehicle.
According to police, the bus was also involved in a second accident with two other vehicles. A back seat passenger in one of those vehicles was pronounced dead on the scene, police say.
State police say that charges are pending in this case. Detectives are working to contact the bus company as part of their investigation.
St. John the Baptist Parish President Natalie Robottom issued the following statement, Sunday morning:
“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. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family, as well as to the families of the other 2 firefighters involved in the accident.
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. It is heartbreaking, especially after this same group of individuals helped to guide St. John the Baptist Parish safely through Hurricane Isaac, the February tornado and the flood event last week. Please pray for all involved and please pray for our community.”