Louisiana Car/Bus Crash Kills 4; Lack Of Maintenance/Seat Belt Usage May Have Contributed
Over the weekend, the Lafayette High Baseball Team bus was involved in a head-on crash, resulting in 4 deaths. State Police say maintenance and seat belt usage may be factors contributing to the deaths.
I spoke with Louisiana State Police Troop I Public Information Officer Trooper Stephen Hammons about this weekend's crash that claimed the lives of 4 people, aged 6, 7, 13, and 36. All four of those killed were traveling in a small SUV when, state police say, the rear tire"failed", and the SUV crossed the median on Highway 90 and hit the bus head-on.
Most of the occupants of the bus received minor injuries, and the bus driver is being praised for how she handled the crash. According to the Louisiana State Police, the bus design prevented more serious injuries from happening to the team.
The lone survivor of the SUV, a 17-year-old, was the only occupant that was wearing a seat belt.
This crash was severe enough to get the attention of the National Transportation Safety Board; they arrived on Sunday and as of this writing are still investigating the crash.
Trooper Hammons reminds us that the investigation is still underway, and it is not known for certain yet what made the rear tire of the vehicle fail. It could have been debris in the roadway, and it could have been worn/defective tires, or a combination of the two. As they work on finding the cause of the crash, Trooper Hammons reminds us of the importance of vehicle maintenance.
We may never know if, had those other occupants been wearing seat belts, some of the deaths could have been avoided, but statistics to show that your chances of surviving a crash increase when properly restrained.
It's so easy to put on a seat belt, and so important to belt your kids in, as well. Ultimately, you are responsible for the safety and well-being of your children, and any children riding in the vehicle with you. Please, take the time to buckle them properly!