LITTLE ROCK - A fatal bus crash that occurred in Louisiana on Sunday involved numerous undocumented immigrants who were on their way to a job center in Baton Rouge that is co-owned by a northeastern Arkansas state legislator.
Two people died and 41 were injured in the crash involving a bus and several other vehicles on Interstate 10 near LaPlace, La. USA Todayreported that Denis Yasmir Amaya Rodriguez, 37, of Honduras, an undocumented immigrant who had no driver’s license, was driving a bus on its way to Wallace Resource Systems, a labor supply company whose owners include Arkansas state Rep. Dave Wallace, R-Leachville.
Wallace referred questions Tuesday to Jesse Wimberly, a Louisiana lawyer who represents WRS. Wimberly told the Arkansas News Bureau that an independent “headhunter,” Edgar Rudda, hired a bus company to round up potential laborers for WRS to put to work on flood relief in Baton Rouge.
“WRS had no connection with it, other than the fact that this fellow, this headhunter guy, was bringing a potential group of people up for them to screen and see if they could employ them,” Wimberly said.
The screening never happened because of the crash, he said.
Wimberly said it is “a puzzling question” why the bus company, Kristina’s Transportation, allowed an undocumented immigrant with no license to drive the bus.
The bus company did not immediately return a call Tuesday afternoon seeking comment.
The people who died in the crash were identified as St. John the Baptist Parish District Fire Chief Spencer Chauvin and Jermaine Starr, 21, of Moss Point, Miss. The bus driver has been charged with two counts of negligent homicide, negligent injuring, reckless operation and driving without a license.