POSTED: Tuesday, February 28, 2012 - 3:02pm
UPDATED: Tuesday, February 28, 2012 - 3:02pm
Ponchatoula, LA — UPDATE: Update: Troopers have identified the six passengers who were riding in the transit bus at the time of the crash. Each of the passengers sustained non-life threatening injuries and were transported to North Oaks Medical Center in Hammond for treatment. The passengers are Dorothy Gray, 59 of Ponchatoula, David Cornett, 23 of Ponchatoula, Allissia Mosely, 36 of Ponchatoula, Lyddia Roe, 27 of Springfield, Jennifer Wells, 22 of Ponchatoula, and Dwayne Haluska, 43 of Hammond.
ORIGINAL STORY: This afternoon shortly before 4:00 pm, troopers from Louisiana State Police Troop L began investigating a two vehicle fatal crash on LA 22 directly in front of Ponchatoula High School in Tangipahoa Parish. The crash took the life of 16 year old Tyler Saizan of Ponchatoula and resulted in minor to moderate injuries for eight additional people.
Troopers’ preliminary investigation revealed that the crash occurred as Saizan was traveling east on LA 22 in a 1998 Chevrolet pickup truck, when for unknown reasons, he lost control of his vehicle and began to rotate in a counterclockwise direction. As the Chevrolet pickup rotated, it crossed into the oncoming lane of LA 22 directly into the path of a 2008 Chevrolet public transit bus traveling westbound. Upon entering into the westbound lane, the Chevrolet pickup truck was impacted on its right side by the front end of the bus causing both vehicles to run off road and come to rest on the north side of LA 22.
Saizan sustained fatal injuries in the crash and was pronounced dead at the scene by the Tangipahoa Parish Coroner’s Office.
The Chevrolet transit bus, operated by OPTIONS Inc., specialized in the transportation of developmentally disabled patients and was occupied by seven passengers in addition to the driver at the time of the crash. The driver of the bus, 79 year old Roy McKenzie of Ponchatoula, LA, and the seven additional passengers received minor to moderate injuries and were transported to Northoaks Medical Center in Hammond.
Both Saizan and McKenzie were wearing seatbelts at the time of the crash and impairment is not suspected. Toxicology results are pending at the Louisiana State Police Crime Lab and the Tangipahoa Parish Coroner’s Office.
At the time of this release, Troopers were working to confirm the identities of the seven passengers on the transit bus and make contact with their families. Upon confirmation, their identities will be released.
During times of inclement weather, drivers are reminded to slow down and take extra precautions as decreased traction on wet roadways combined with dangerous driving behavior often leads to tragic events. Troopers see first-hand the consequences of aggressive and reckless driving far too often while investigating crashes. Motorists are urged to remain vigilant while driving especially during hazardous road conditions and never drive while distracted, fatigued, or impaired.