Three kids escape injury in accident

Published 12:00 am Sunday, April 1, 2007


Editor and Publisher

LAPLACE – Three small children on the way to a field trip to the Audubon Zoo were shaken, but not badly injured on Friday morning in a three vehicle accident involving a St. John Parish bus.

Bus driver Josephine Washington said she was stopped at the traffic light eastbound on West 10th, at the Hemlock Street intersection, when she felt another vehicle hit her from behind.

Fortunately, a truck driven by Larry Boudreaux was in the middle of the actual crash, and took more of the impact, helping the children avoid serious injury.

&#8220We were sitting at the intersection and felt something, so we knew something hit us,” bus monitor Aisha Mealey said. &#8220The children looked back, but nobody was really hurt since this is a big bus.”

Luke Sellars of Reserve was driving to his body shop job in Metairie when he failed to recognize the vehicles stopped at the traffic light.

Sellars, driving a 1993 Saturn Ion III, rammed into the back of Boudreaux’s 1995 Chevy truck, which got pushed into the back of the bus.

&#8220I was sitting at the stop light behind the bus, and then I felt this guy hit me from the back. I never even knew it was coming,” Boudreaux said.

Deputy Ronald Lightell said all the children were checked by EMT on the scene and appeared to be uninjured. He estimated the car was going 30 miles per hour when it hit the truck.

&#8220When I got the call we didn’t even know a bus with children was involved,” Lightell said. &#8220I’ve got kids of my own and I was already heading quickly to the accident, so I’m just glad the kids were OK.”

Sellars admitted he had looked away from the road and didn’t see the stopped vehicles in front of him.

The children, age 4 and 5, were heading to Lake Pontchartrain Elementary, where they were supposed to join the class to go to Audubon Zoo for a field trip.

For Washington, she had just started driving a bus this year, she said.

Lightell said that Sellars would be cited for careless operation.