The tragedy couldn’t be more heartbreaking. A five-year-old was riding on the school bus on her way to kindergarten when an 18-wheeler slammed into the bus and killed her.
Twenty-one kids were on the St. Landry Parish bus when it was rear-ended as it pulled on to Highway 190 on its way to Port Barre schools. Law enforcement authorities have not yet made a determination of negligence in the tragedy.
CNN reports that the kindergartner killed was on her way to Port Barre Elementary School. Eleven students from the school were on the bus at the time of the crash.
A teenage boy in critical condition after the collision was on his way to Port Barre High School.
He is hospitalized at Lafayette General Medical Center.
However, 19 students were treated and released from local medical facilities within hours of the crash last week.
A substitute bus driver was behind the wheel that morning. The sub is the mayor of Port Barre, a town of 2,400 about 30 miles north of Lafayette.
The driver had pulled over on U.S. 190 to allow students to board the bus. According to Louisiana state police, he then began moving the bus forward “with all of his warning devices still activated.”
It was then that a 52-year-old truck driver from Texas slammed his big rig into the back of the bus from behind.
The Port Barre Town Clerk was driving behind the truck at the time of the accident. She told CNN that some sort of debris was falling from the truck when it collided with the bus. She didn’t identify the debris, however.
Investigators are looking into the causes of the crash.
CNN: “At least 2 Louisiana students critically hurt when truck hits bus”: December 3, 2010