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Bus carrying flood recovery volunteers hits fire truck; 2 dead

NEW ORLEANS -- An out-of-control bus carrying flood recovery volunteers hit a fire truck and firefighters who had responded to an earlier wreck, killing two people and injuring dozens, reports CBS affiliate WWL-TV.

Louisiana State Trooper Melissa Matey said the bus driver did not have a commercial license and was not authorized to drive a bus. Louisiana State Police say the driver was a Honduran man who had entered the United States illegally.

Matey said those killed Sunday morning include a local fire chief. She says Chief Spencer Chauvin was among three firefighters thrown off the raised section of Interstate 10 near LaPlace and into water below.

“It is a sad day in St. John the Baptist Parish as we lost one of the bravest and most dedicated firefighters that I know,” said St. John the Baptist Parish President Natalie Robottom. “Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family, as well as to the families of the other 2 firefighters involved in the accident.”

Louisiana State Police say a 21-year-old Mississippi man was killed and three other Mississippi residents were seriously injured.

Trooper Melissa Matey says Jermaine Starr of Moss Point was killed when the bus rear-ended the Toyota Camry in which he was a rear-seat passenger. Another passenger was critically injured, and the driver and third passenger were seriously injured. All are also from Moss Point.

Matey says the bus also hit three St. John the Baptist Parish firefighters, killing one and leaving a second in critical condition. 

She says the 30 to 40 people on the bus suffered minor to moderate injuries.

Matey describes them as volunteers heading from New Orleans to Baton Rouge to help flood victims.

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