LAPLACE – State Police say a party bus carrying workers to Baton Rouge Sunday morning struck a firetruck on I-10, killing two people and injuring dozens.
According to Louisiana State Police, firefighters had already responded to a single vehicle crash around 6:40 a.m. near mile post 203 on I-10 west. Troopers and St. John the Baptist Firefighters were protecting the crash scene which had blocked the right lane I-10.
Around 7:17 a.m., a party bus, driven by 37-year-old Denis Yasmir Amaya Rodriguez, struck one of the firetrucks, causing the bus to strike a Toyota Camry that was in turn pushed into a Chevrolet Silverado and flatbed trailer.
Before coming to a rest, the bus struck three firefighters who were then thrown over a guardrail, falling 30-40 feet into the water below.
St. John the Baptist Fire Department District Chief Spencer Chauvin was transported to River Parishes Hospital where he was later prounced dead. Firefighter Nicholas Saale, 32, was airlifted to University Medical Center with critical injuries. The third firefighter, 35-year-old William Mack Beal was transported with moderate injuries.
The driver of the Camry, 35-year-old Marcus Tate was airlited to Our Lady of the Lake Hospital with serious injuries. Two passengers in the Camry, Vontrayous Kelly and David Jones were taken to University Medical Center. Kelly is in critical condition Sunday and Jones is in serious condition. One other passenger, Jermaine Starr was pronounced dead at the scene.
The driver of the Silverado, Emiliano Ascosta, and passengers Solma Almendarez, Jenyfer Espinal and two 10-year-old juveniles were transported with minor to moderate injuries.
41 people dead or injured, including a fire chief and the passenger in that Camry.
And Denis Yasmir Amaya Rodriguez is an illegal alien. So were the 24 people riding in the bus with him. The bus was headed up I-10 to work flood recovery.
Which in and of itself isn’t such a horrible thing. We might not want to hear this, but we’re going to need some illegals to get all those houses fixed. It would be great if there were licensed contractors coming into Louisiana from Idaho and Oklahoma and Virginia to get the work done, and perhaps there will be some, but the really good licensed contractors in those states are already doing work where they live; to get them to relocate, even temporarily, to Louisiana would mean paying them a premium to work on home repairs.
But Rodriguez, the driver of the bus, had no driver’s license. He was ticketed a week ago. One imagines he tossed that ticket out the window as soon as he got it. Because if he wasn’t going to be deported, what does he care about a ticket?
It’s stories like these that have created Donald Trump.
We’re not going to blame all the illegals for the death of the fire chief in this case. Like it or not, the fact they’re here is inevitable. Most of them will end up doing a whole lot more to help Louisiana recover from the floods than their presence will cost us.
But that bus driver? Who drives around without a license and clearly isn’t very good at it? Why wasn’t he deported when he got that ticket last week?
What we don’t know yet is who rented that party bus Rodriguez was driving. If he wasn’t authorized to drive a commercial vehicle and yet Kristina’s Transportation of Destrehan rented it to him to transport those workers in, the victims ought to have a hell of a good class action suit against the company who owns that bus. If somebody else rented it and let Rodriguez drive it, woebetide that person.
You don’t have to be for deporting all the illegals we have here. You do have to be for getting rid of the lowlifes with zero respect for our laws who make life in America more like life in the lousy Third World hellholes they came from – and that’s a good description of Denis Yasmin Amaya Rodriguez.
Garret Graves put out a great flood-recovery video last week…
Remember that motion to censure Scott Angelle and Jay Dardenne at the Republican State Central Committee meeting this past weekend?
The Louisiana Republican Party’s governing committee overwhelmingly rejected an attempt Saturday to censure Republicans Jay Dardenne and Scott Angelle because they did not endorse U.S. Sen. David Vitter in his run for governor against Democrat John Bel Edwards last fall.
By a near unanimous vote, the state GOP Central Committee voted down a call for a public reprimand of the two.
The resolution’s author, Christian Gil, of Houma, did not speak on behalf of his resolution ahead of the morning vote.
We said at the time it wasn’t a great idea, and particularly given that it was a stunt on behalf of Clay Higgins as an attack on Angelle. Angelle was never required to endorse David Vitter in the runoff last year, though it would have been better for everyone had he done so. And while dumping as much invective on Dardenne for his cross-party endorsement as possible was certainly more than justified, the August meeting of the RSCC is just too late.
Most of the committee clearly agreed. Besides, it’s time to move on. The GOP is going to need to settle on a gubernatorial candidate for 2019 well in advance, so there isn’t a Vitter-Dardenne-Angelle style internal fight that clears another path for Edwards’ re-election. Bitter recriminations like these only worsen the prospect of such a fight.
And now, a Today’s Last Thing. It’s Game Week for LSU football. Finally.
LSU just released the depth chart for Saturday’s tilt against Wisconsin, and there are some interesting bits in it.
— LSU Football (@LSUfootball) August 29, 2016
Our top five takeaways?
1. Last week’s discussions about K.J. Malone and Toby Weathersby starting at the tackles and the injury-slowed Maea Teuhema serving as the sixth man on the line have panned out. We don’t think Teuhema will be out of the lineup for long, but he’s not 100 percent yet and until he is, somebody else will get a chance. The two tackles, both of which are new starters given that LSU lost Jerald Hawkins and Vadal Alexander to the pros, are LSU’s weakest links on offense at present. Pass protection on the edge is the single biggest concern for the offense.
It might be that concern doesn’t pan out at all. Malone and Weathersby might play great. They’ve certainly got enough talent to do well. But LSU badly needs to show a passing game to complement Leonard Fournette against good defenses this year, and without protection on the edge it’s going to be tough to do that.
2. Michael Divinity is your lone freshman starter; he’s the F linebacker ahead of fellow frosh Ray Thornton. Lots of folks thought senior Tayshawn Bower would be the starter at that outside linebacker spot to serve as a bookend opposite Arden Key, and on passing downs the bet here is that’s what you’ll see. But Divinity is a super-fast linebacker who has some skill in coverage – and you won’t find a freshman, we’re told, in college football who can contain the edge against the run better than he can. On Saturday against a quality running game, we’ll get to see if that hype holds true.
3. That DeSean Smith, a senior formerly hyped as one of the biggest recruits at the position LSU had taken in recent years, isn’t listed as one of the top three tight ends on the depth chart is a damn shame. Smith has been beset with injuries for most of the last two years, and it looks like he’s running out of time to make much of an impact. In both 2014 and 2015 Smith showed flashes of giving LSU a legitimate receiving threat at the position, but no real effort was made to capitalize on him – perhaps because he’s been hurt. Now, he’s behind Caleb Roddy, a freshman who wasn’t even recruited as a tight end; Roddy was a defensive end out of Denham Springs High School. Roddy supposedly has great athleticism for a big man and good hands to go with it, but he’s not known as a speedster and he’s unlikely to be much more than a blocker. That he’s listed ahead of Smith and Jacory Washington, another highly-rated former recruit with a reputation as a good receiver, tells you the tight end isn’t going to be any more a part of the LSU passing game this year than it was last year.
4. Colby Delahoussaye is your placekicker and Cameron Gamble is your kickoff man. But Connor Culp is listed as the backup for both, and you shouldn’t be surprised if he manages to supplant one or both of them before long. Delahoussaye, who before losing his job last year was one of the more accurate kickers LSU has had, will need to maintain that level of performance, because Culp is good.
Still, one roots for the senior from New Iberia. Delahoussaye is one of the team’s top personalities, and he’s fighting his way back to prominence after being burned in a horrible car wreck in Wisconsin over the summer. Culp’s time will come, but the Cajun Kicker needs to have a great year for LSU.
5. All camp long the word has been that nobody can block Trevonte Valentine, but Greg Gilmore has managed to hold him off as LSU’s starting noseguard. We don’t think that’s all that important a fact, as both will play, but Gilmore and fellow junior defensive lineman Frank Herron, who at the moment seems to be the third defensive end spelling both Davon Godchaux and Lewis Neal, are both set for breakout seasons. Both were highly-rated recruits and yet neither have had a lot of playing time so far. Herron had some big moments last year, particularly at the end of the season against Texas A&M and Texas Tech, but on the whole they’ve both been under the radar as Tigers. That’s changed now with Christian Lacouture’s injury; Gilmore and Herron are going to need to contribute greatly to the line this year.
Or maybe not. Maybe if they don’t show up big early, it’ll be Valentine pushing his way to the top of the depth chart at nose guard and freshman stud Rashard Lawrence will end up stealing playing time at the end spots. One thing is true of the LSU defensive line, as it is of all the positions on this team – either step up and play like a star, or there is somebody else competing with you who will do it.