St. Landry

Feb 25, 2011 11:40 PM by Shawn Kline

Man indicted for negligent murder in bus crash

A Texas man is now charged in the death of a five-year old girl.
Kindergartener Karen Stoute died after an 18-wheeler slammed into her school bus in St. Landry Parish back on December 3rd.
A grand jury indicted the driver of the 18-wheeler, David Cox.
Cox now faces charges of negligent homicide and 21 other counts of negligent injury; the homicide charge itself carrying a sentence of two to five years behind bars without probation.
Because the indictment was issued by a grand jury, any evidence must be witheld. That leaves many still wondering how or why this crash happened, but that dangerous bus route that claimed a five-year-old's life is the same route bus drivers are on now.
"This bus route is still being used because its one of our normal bus routes," School Board member Anthony Standberry said.
Nearly three months after the crash, some children are on the same bus route- a stretch of Highway 190 with trucks reaching speeds of up to 65-miles-per hour.
"Is this bus route taking a back seat to everything else?" KATC's Shawn Kline asked.
"No, no." Standberry responded, "not at all."
Standberry says they're weighing their options but whatever new plan they come up with, 190 just isn't a safe road.
"It's a catch 22 with this pretty much," Standberry said.
He says he's looked at the possibility of other stops, even more lights on the bus itself but in the end, he says the one plan that would work best involves paving a new lane for school buses only.
"Even if somebody would not see the bus, it would not be in that lane of traffic," Standberry said.
The route itself would be difficult to change. However, Standberry hopes something can be done to make it a little bit safer.

A PoBoy sale will be held on Saturday starting at 11AM to help Karen Stoute's and other families involved in that crash. It will be held at Truly Cajun Restaurant on Highway 190 in Port Barre.



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