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Dec 6, 2010 7:50 PM by Carolyn Cerda

Port Barre Counseling

Tragic news for the town of Port Barre. Monday morning, one of the two victims critically injured in Friday's school bus crash in Port Barre died. 5 year old Karen Stoute succumbed to her injuries at around 11:30am. She had been in critical condition since Friday with a traumatic brain injury.

Officials say the second hospitalized student, 15 year old Colby Richard remains in critical but stable condition. They say he underwent a second surgery on his leg on Monday.

Meantime, many of the other 19 students that were on the school bus were back in school. Officials at the Port Barre schools wanted to make sure the return was as comfortable as possible, so they brought in counselors. There were 21 students on the bus Friday, 11 were students at Port Barre Elementary, 10 went to Port Barre High School, which has the middle school on it's campus.

"I was emotional Friday when I think of what could have happened," said Port Barre High principal, William Duplechain. He says in addition to the two regular school counselors, two others were brought in from within St. Landry Parish, and two more from Houma. Officials say the State Department of Health and Hospitals provided the two counselors out of Houma.

Although the counselors were only scheduled to be on campus on Monday, Duplechain says they'll ask them to stay longer if they feel the students still need them. "The quicker we get back to normal, the better. It's going to take a little while for them to feel comfortable putting their kids back on those buses.... but, we had a regular day today, as normal as possible."



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