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Flood volunteer bus hits fire truck; 2 dead, dozens hurt

A bus full of construction workers hit a firetruck on an elevated highway Sunday, Aug. 28, 2016, killing a few people and injuring do.

Police gave this account: Chauvin, 36 of Gramercy, was standing with two firefighters by the interstate guardrail after responding to a crash early that morning. 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 bus was driven by 37-year-old immigrant Denis Amaya Rodriguez, who was in the United States illegally and was not licensed to drive the bus, according to police. All passengers were transported to local hospitals with minor to moderate injuries.

Rodriguez will be booked into the St. John the Baptist Correctional Center with two counts of Negligent Homicide, Reckless Operation, Negligent Injuring and No Driver's License.

Wimberly says the bus involved in Sunday's crash was hired by an independent headhunter, and "it appears the bus company hired the driver".

Owner of the bus is Kristina's Transportation LLC/AM Party Bus out of Jefferson, La. It then slammed a small vehicle into a flatbed trailer and swerved behind the firetruck, hitting three firefighters and the pickup truck that was in the earlier crash.

Two firefighters on the scene of the initial accident were injured in the second crash.

The funeral home obituary says Chauvin's father and grandfather were volunteer firefighters, and he began working with a fire department in St. John the Baptist Parish as a teenager.

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St. John the Baptist Parish President Natalie Robottom posted a statement on Facebook praising Chauvin, and calling the incident "heartbreaking".

"They were individuals that were being transported from New Orleans to the Baton Rouge area to assist with the flood recovery", said Matey. The other victim, 21-year-old Jermaine Starr, was a rear seat passenger in the Camry and was pronounced dead at the scene. The front seat passenger in the Camry, Vontravous Kelly and rear seat passenger David Jones, both of Moss Point, MS, were taken to University Medical Center.

One firefighter was critically injured; other injuries ranged from minor to moderate, Matey said.

"Far too many times we don't think about it like it is, but firefighters are the ones who run towards danger", said St. John the Baptist Parish Councilwoman Jaclyn Hotard. "This was a horrific accident and one that is still very active".

The 2002 Eldorado National bus, which was speeding, closed in on the crash scene and clipped the fire truck, police said. 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.

The driver of the Camry, 35 year old Marcus Tate suffered serious injuries and was airlifted to a Baton Rouge hospital.

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