LSP: SUV driver dies in head-on crash with school bus

VENTRESS — A 38-year-old Ventress woman was killed Tuesday in a head-on collision between her sport utility vehicle and a Pointe Coupee Parish school bus on La. 415, north of La. 414, State Police Troop A spokesman Jared Sandifer said.

Sandifer reported in a news release that Jody T. Harris was driving north on La. 415 around 7:30 a.m. when she lost control of her 2004 Toyota 4-Runner and crossed the highway’s centerline, colliding with the southbound school bus.

Although she was wearing a seat belt, Sandifer said, Harris was fatally injured in the collision.

Troopers have submitted a toxicology sample taken from Harris to the State Police Crime Lab for analysis, he said.

Sandifer identified the driver of the school bus as Laurie Olinde, 46, also of Ventress.

Sandifer said nine students and an adult aide were passengers on the bus at the time of the crash. Three of the children, along with Olinde, sustained minor injuries and were treated at hospitals, he said.

School Superintendent Linda D’Amico said Tuesday the bus was one of the school district’s 22 owner/operated vehicles. The children riding on the bus were between 3 and 4 years old and attend Rougon Elementary School.

“After they were released from the hospital, most of the students went home,” D’Amico said. “They’re planning on being back at school tomorrow.”