PORT BARRE, La. — Five-year-old Karen Stoute died on Monday morning as a result of injuries she sustained during a school bus crash that occurred here last Friday. She was pronounced dead at Lafayette General Medical Center.
A 15-year-old student who was injured in the accident remains in critical condition at a local hospital. State Police Troopers also learned that an 8-year-old child originally listed in critical condition was released from the hospital with moderate injuries.
The crash on Friday occurred in the westbound lane of a highway and involved an 18-wheeler and a St. Landry Parish school bus.
According to investigating troopers, the school bus, driven by 67-year-old Gilfred Savoy, was stopped in the westbound right lane of the highway. Savoy was actively picking up children and had the red lights and stop signs activated on the bus. After the students finished boarding the bus, Savoy began to slowly proceed forward with all of the bus’ warning devices still activated. As Savoy was beginning his movement, the 18-wheeler, driven by 52-year-old David Cox, struck the bus from behind.
Both drivers sustained minor injuries. There were 21 children on the bus at the time of the crash. In addition to the three aforementioned students, all of the other children, ranging in ages from 5 to 17 years old, sustained minor to moderate injuries and were transported to local hospitals.
Routine toxicology samples were obtained from both drivers. The results of the samples are pending at the Louisiana State Police Crime Lab.
The crash remains under investigation. Charges are pending the outcome of the investigation.