The Latest: Senators want info. about driver in US illegally

AP News
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Posted: Aug 30, 2016 6:30 PM

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — The Latest on fatal bus crash in Louisiana (all times local):

5:30 p.m.

Louisiana's U.S. senators and the Senate Judiciary Committee chairman are asking the Department of Homeland Security for information about the man identified as the driver of a bus that hit a firetruck and other vehicles in Louisiana, killing two people and injuring dozens.

The letter to Secretary Jeh Johnson asks for a wide variety of information, including how and when 37-year-old Denis Yasmir Amaya Rodriguez entered the United States, and every date on which a law enforcement agency encountered him. It also asks whether he ever applied for immigration benefits, and whether he was associated with any criminal gang, and for his "complete alien file."

Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley of Iowa and Louisiana Senators David Vitter and Bill Cassidy say they want the information by Sept. 12.

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5:30 p.m.

Louisiana State Police say the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration is taking the lead in investigating the owners of a bus that hit a firetruck and other vehicles, killing two people and injuring 36.

Police have identified the company as AM Party Bus and Kristina's Transportation LLC.

A state police news release Tuesday says Louisiana State Police will continue to lead the investigation of the crash itself.

State police have said that the bus driver is a Honduran man who came to the U.S. illegally and does not have a driver's license.

An attorney for a company that provides disaster-recovery crews says the 24 passengers on the bus were heading to Baton Rouge to be screened for flood recovery work. Jesse Wimberly of Mandeville says that the bus driver apparently was hired by the company that owned the bus.

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5:30 p.m.

Funeral arrangements have been announced for the fire chief killed when a bus hit a firetruck that was blocking traffic from a previous crash, knocking him and two other firefighters from an elevated highway.

Spencer Chauvin (SHOH-vanh) and a Mississippi man were killed and 36 people injured in the crash Sunday near LaPlace, about 30 miles west of New Orleans.

According to Rose Lynn Funeral Services in Lutcher, visitation will be from 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Thursday at the St. John Civic Center in LaPlace. It says a fireman's memorial procession will go from the civic center to St. John the Baptist Catholic Church in Edgard, where a funeral Mass will begin at 2:30 p.m.

He's to be buried in the church cemetery.

The funeral home obituary says Chauvin's father and grandfather were volunteer firefighters, and he began working with a fire department in St. John the Baptist Parish as a teenager.

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3 p.m.

An attorney for a company partly owned by an Arkansas legislator says a bus involved in a fatal crash in Louisiana was carrying workers who planned to apply for flood-remediation jobs in Baton Rouge.

Jesse Wimberly of Mandeville represents Wallace, Rush, Schmidt Inc., which provides crews for such work. Its three owners include Arkansas state Rep. David Wallace. Wimberly says the construction workers were going to apply for work with the company.

State police have identified the driver as 37-year-old Denis Yasmir Amaya Rodriguez. They say he doesn't have a driver's license and is in the U.S. illegally.

Wimberly says the bus involved in Sunday's crash was hired by an independent headhunter, and "it appears the bus company hired the driver."

He says the construction company would have checked applicants' immigration status.