9-Year-Old Seriously Injured While Exiting School Bus in Plaquemines Parish Crash

Published 9:29 am Thursday, October 7, 2021

Belle Chasse – On Wednesday October 6, 2021, shortly after 4:00 p.m., Troopers with Louisiana State Police Troop B responded to an injury crash involving a juvenile pedestrian on Louisiana Highway 23 near Danos Lane. The crash seriously injured a 9-year-old child.

The preliminary investigation revealed a school bus was stopped in the northbound lane of LA Hwy 23 with the stop signs extended and flashing lights activated. While stopped, a 9-year-old student exited the bus and was walking away from the roadway. At the same time, a 1989 Ford dump truck, driven by 61-year-old Gregory Valentine of Donaldsonville, approached the rear of the school bus, but failed to come to a stop. Valentine swerved to the right onto the northbound shoulder to avoid the school bus, but struck the 9-year-old child. The 9-year-old child suffered serious injuries as a result of the crash and was transported to a local hospital for treatment.

Impairment on the part of the Valentine is not suspected, however a voluntary blood sample was collected and standard toxicology test are pending. Valentine was charged with Negligent Injuring, Reckless Operation of a Vehicle, and Driving with a Suspended License. This crash remains under investigation.

Louisiana State Police would like to remind motorists of the importance of remaining alert and undistracted while driving. Taking your eyes away from the roadway for just a short time can result in life changing events. We would also like to remind motorists to remain aware of school buses, especially as they are picking up and dropping off children. Louisiana law prevents any vehicle from passing or overtaking a stopped school bus with the visual signs activated, and has stopped for the purpose of receiving or discharging any school children. Vehicles are also required to stop at least thirty feet from the school bus and shall not proceed until the bus resumes motion or the visual signals are no longer activated.