36 Natchitoches students onboard when driver crashes into bus; 1 driver airlifted to hospital
NATCHITOCHES PARISH, La. (KSLA) - At least 36 students were onboard Monday when a school bus was involved in a crash with another vehicle.
The Natchitoches Parish Sheriff’s Office says it happened Monday afternoon (March 13) around 3:30 p.m. on Highway 478 just west of I-49 south of Natchitoches. Multiple agencies responded.
Deputies got on scene to find the driver of a 2009 Mazda Tribute compact SUV trapped in the wreckage. A medical helicopter was dispatched, and a landing zone was set up near I-49 and the highway.
The sheriff’s office says the 36 students and the bus driver were all evaluated on-scene. They were all released without being taken to a hospital. Officials say Natchitoches Parish Superintendent Dr. Grant Eloi was notified of the wreck.
According to Louisiana State Police, who also responded to the crash, the Mazda, which was being driven by a 48-year-old man, was headed west on Highway 478 when for reasons still under investigation, drifted across the center line and hit the school bus. This caused the school bus to leave the road on the left side. The bus went through a ditch and hit a few trees before coming to a stop, police say.
Passing drivers stopped to help the students, police say.
It took rescuers more than 20 minutes to get the driver of the Mazda out of the wreckage. The man was airlifted to a regional trauma center with what police say are non-life-threatening injuries.
The investigation into the crash is ongoing.
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