Two major accidents create traffic problems near Iowa

A charter bus carrying senior citizens from Texas to the Coushatta Casino Resort in Kinder was involved in an accident that resulted in multiple injuries Wednesday just north of Iowa, authorities said.

The accident was one of two separate crashes that occurred within five miles of each other Wednesday in Jeff Davis Parish near Iowa.

State police said the bus was struck by a pickup truck at about 2:45 p.m. on U.S. 165 at La. 101, about three miles north of Iowa.

Sgt. James Anderson said the pickup, driven by Anthony Pitre Jr., 67, of Lake Charles, failed to yield the right of way to the northbound charter bus. Pitre was taken to an area hospital with serious injuries, he said.

The bus driver, Amos G. Monts, 50, of San Antonio, Texas, told police he tried to brake hard in an attempt to avoid the collision, but was unable to, Anderson said. Monts was not injured, he said.

Seven of the 46 passengers on the bus were taken to area hospitals with minor injuries, police said.

The bus was traveling from Bastrop, Texas, to Kinder.

An early morning traffic accident involving two 18-wheelers closed Interstate 10 East just east of Iowa for several hours Wednesday.

The right shoulder of the interstate was reopened just before 10:30 a.m., but traffic remained slow through the area most of the day as crews worked to clear the scene, state police said. Both lanes were reopened after more than 13 hours.

Anderson said the accident occurred at about 3:30 a.m. when an 18-wheeler driven by Aldo R. Gonzales, 27, of Humble, Texas, drove into the rear of another 18-wheeler, driven by Huriberto Almendarez Garcia, 33, of Mexico.

Gonzalez was extricated from his truck and taken to an area hospital with moderate injuries, Anderson said. A passenger in the truck was also taken to an area hospital with minor injuries and was released, he said.

Garcia was not injured.

Gonzalez was cited for following too closely.

Engine parts that were being transported by one of the trucks were scattered across the interstate. Paint and paint products were leaking from the other truck.

Diesel used to fuel one of the trucks leaked onto the interstate, Anderson said.

Traffic was diverted onto La. 3258 and U.S. 90 for most of the day.