Criminal charges are pending against the driver of a bus at the center of a traffic crash on Interstate 10 that killed two people on Sunday morning, including a high-ranking St. John the Baptist Parish firefighter, Louisiana State Police said.
State Police identified the bus driver as Denis Yasmir Amaya Rodriguez, of Honduras, who turned 37 earlier this month. Amaya — who had no driver's license — admitted to troopers that he was in the United States without necessary immigration documents and was driving a group of largely Honduran workers from New Orleans to Baton Rouge to assist in relief efforts following the devastating flooding there earlier this month, Trooper Melissa Matey said.
Exact charges were not immediately available. Matey said investigators were still working to determine who had organized the workers and sent them to Baton Rouge.
According to Matey, troopers and St. John firefighters responded at 6:40 a.m. Sunday after the driver of a Nissan Titan crashed into a guardrail near I-10 mile marker 203 -- an elevated portion over water -- while traveling at an excessive rate of speed for the rainy conditions at the time.
The bus that Amaya was driving — a private one that could be rented out for parties — then struck the rear of the fire truck as well as multiple other cars. Three firefighters standing on the side of the road at the time of the bus collision were thrown over the guardrail, Matey said.
One of those firefighters, St. John Fire District Chief Spencer Chauvin, was killed, Matey said. The other two firefighters were hospitalized, one in critical but stable condition and the other with moderate injuries.
Meanwhile, a person in a Toyota Camry hit by the bus was also killed, Matey said.
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