School bus goes up in flames during mock run in St. Rose

Michelle Stuckey
August 12, 2010 at 9:50 am  | Mobile Reader | Pring this storyPrint 

During a mock run to get ready for the new school year, a St. Charles Parish school bus caught fire and was destroyed.

No children were on the bus and the driver was able to safely exit the bus before it went up in flames, school officials said.


“All of our buses do mock runs before the start of the school year to familiarize themselves with the route, to see if there are any road obstructions and just to be prepared,” said Regina McMillan, public information coordinator for the school district.


Bus driver Betty Leblanc was on the first street of her route, Oaklawn Ridge Drive in St. Rose, at about 10 a.m. when she noticed smoke coming from the rear driver’s side tire.


Leblanc immediately called for assistance, McMillan said, and the St. Rose Volunteer Fire Department and paramedics responded.


But by the time firefighters arrived, the bus was engulfed in flames.


It took a total of nine firefighters from both the St. Rose and East St. Charles volunteer fire departments to get the fire under control.


“The bus basically was a total loss,” McMillan said.
The fire department determined that the fire started with the tire on the driver’s side.


McMillan said that the cause of the fire is still under investigation by the school’s transportation department and that Leblanc will still be employed by the district as a bus driver.


The loss of the bus will not affect schools opening at all, McMillan said. The bus, No. 10, will be replaced by bus No. 90.




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