Benton resident killed in crash involving school bus

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A Benton resident was killed and three others were injured after a pickup truck struck a school bus head-on in Beauregard Parish this morning. No passengers on the school bus at the time of the crash.

Louisiana State Police Troop D responded to a two-vehicle fatal crash at 6:49 a.m on Thursday, May 14, involving a school bus on U.S. Highway 171, about 7 1/2 miles south of DeRidder in Beauregard Parish. The preliminary investigation revealed that a 1997 Dodge pickup truck, driven by 21-year-old Vernon Wayne Player of Benton, Louisiana, was traveling north on US 171.StatePoliceLogo

For unknown reasons the pickup truck crossed the median and struck a southbound Beauregard Parish school bus, driven by 52-year-old Jess Mullican of DeRidder, head-on despite Mullican’s efforts to avoid the crash.

There were two passengers in the pickup truck. One of the passengers, 22-year-old Terric V. Glover of Benton, was pronounced dead at the scene. Another passenger, 25-year-old Gustavo Adolfo Rodelo-Espinal of Bossier City, was ejected from the vehicle and transported from the scene with serious injuries. Player (the pickup driver) also sustained serious injuries.

Glover and Rodelo-Espinal (passengers in the pickup) were not wearing seat belts.

Mullican (driver of the school bus) was properly restrained and was transported from the scene with minor injuries. There were

Toxicology samples were obtained from both drivers and will be submitted for analysis. The crash remains under investigation and charges are pending.

Louisiana state law requires vehicle occupants to be properly restrained in all seating positions, day and night.  Although not every crash is survivable, wearing a seat belt on every trip is the most effective thing motorists can do to protect themselves in the event of a crash. Motorists are encouraged to always make the smart choice and wear their seat belt.
Troop D has investigated 10 fatal crashes resulting in 10 fatalities this year.