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Students slightly injured in bus wreck

L’Observateur / September 2, 1998

EDGARD – Fifty-two elementary school students sustained minor injuries Monday morning when their school bus was struck from behind.

Lt. Michael Tregre of the St. John Parish Sheriff’s Office reported that BusNo. 13 was stopped at East First Street and River Road taking on morepassengers at 7:28 a.m., when a 1997 Ford Escort driven by Toni Johnson,20, 281 Castle Drive, Edgard, turned onto River Road and struck the eastbound bus from behind.

The accident caused moderate to heavy damage to her vehicle.

Swarms of ambulances and private vehicles scooped up the children.

Tregre said 17 students were taken by private vehicles and 35 by ambulance. The students were taken to St. Charles Parish Hospital, Luling;St. James Parish Hospital, Lutcher; River Parishes Hospital, LaPlace; andThibodaux Medical Center.

“No one appeared to be seriously hurt,” West St. John Elementary Schoolprincipal Shelton Smith reported, adding the children were taken to hospitals as a precautionary measure.

The bus driver, Gilbert Bartholomew, 61, Edgard, was not injured.

Johnson was charged with failure to maintain control and failure to wear a seat belt.

Johnson sustained minor injuries and was transported to River Parishes Hospital for treatment.

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