An SUV struck a school bus carrying the Lafayette High School baseball team, resulting in four fatalities on Saturday. Everyone on the bus survived, returning back to their school the following day.
"It's parish protocol when we have a catastrophic event, we pull the students and family together as quickly as we can," says Lafayette High principal Patrick Leonard.
Leonard says those injured aboard the bus are suffering from concussions, broken noses, cuts, bruises and soreness. They have all been released from the hospital and were meeting with psychologists and social workers on Sunday.
"It's hard for anybody, young or old, to see dead bodies in front of you and you look at the car and everything. They [the students] are very thoughtful about the victims and their family," says Leonard.
According to State Police, 17-year-old Mark Cheatham was the lone survivor in the SUV. He was transported to an area hospital with moderate injuries. State Police say the other occupants—36-year-old Ladonna Cheatam, 6-year-old Destiny Cheatam, 7-year-old Dwayne Escort and 16-year-old Marcus Cheatam were all ejected from the vehicle.
They were not wearing a safety belt.
"The parents wanted to speak with the bus driver," says Assistant Superintendent Sandra Billeaudeau.
On Sunday, the team publicly thanked the driver—40-year-old Amy Dore of sunset—a post on their page reads "she truly deserves a Medal of Honor for her strength under pressure."
"That is a huge vehicle. The fact that God was with her to handle it and not tilt over and we could be here talking about something so much more tragic," says Billeaudeau.