Unlicensed driver blamed for deadly accident on I-10 in LaPlace

2 dead, dozens hurt in St. John Parish bus accident
The three firefighters involved in Sunday's bus crash on I-10 in Laplace. (Source: St. John Parish)
The three firefighters involved in Sunday's bus crash on I-10 in Laplace. (Source: St. John Parish)

LAPLACE, LA (WVUE) - A man driving a party-type bus without a driver's license or a license to operate a commercial vehicle slammed into a fire truck and two other vehicles on I-10 westbound in LaPlace Sunday morning.

State police say that the man, identified as Denis Yasmir Amaya-Rodriguez of Honduras, is in the country illegally.

Two people were killed including a St. John Parish Fire Department District Chief, Spencer Chauvin and an unidentified passenger in Toyota Camry which was also struck by the errant bus, according to State Police spokeswoman Trooper Melissa Matey.

State police said a pickup truck traveling too fast on the slippery highway hit a guard rail and state troopers along with fire fighters responded.

About 40 minutes later the party bus with 40 or so people aboard driving West bound on the interstate, went out of control and hit the fire truck, and tossed three firemen including the district chief over the guard rail into the water.

The Nissan Titan truck involved in the initial accident, as well as a Toyota Camry were also struck.

The two injured firefighters were taken to the hospital.

The occupants of the bus were headed to Baton Rouge to assist in the flood recovery work, but were not volunteers, according to authorities.

Matey said criminal charges are pending against the bus driver.

State police say that Interstate 10 west bound reopened Sunday afternoon.

St. John Parish officials identified the other firefighters involved in the incident as Nicholas Saale and William Beal.

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