Lafayette High raises money for crash victims’ family

LAFAYETTE, LA (WAFB) -

A high school in Lafayette received loads of support from their community
as they tried to raise funds for the families of the four people who were
killed in a crash with a school bus last week in Centerville, La.

The students and faculty of Lafayette High School had a
tough and somber week after the incident that claimed the lives of four
victims, including three children. But the results of a school fundraiser for
the victims’ families were uplifting.

The school hoped to raise $2,000 for the family members, but
before lunchtime, they did more than reach their goal. A total sum of $9,000
was reached, and the day was not yet over.

The money came from people from all over the area; many
complete strangers who simply empathized with the tragic situation.

You can hear from these givers tonight on 9News at 10 p.m. this evening.

A vigil was held on Monday, February 17th in the field behind Patterson Junior High
School in Patterson, LA at 5:30 p.m.

The
crash happened on US 90 near LA 317 in Centerville around noon. The
victims who died were identified as Ladonna Cheatham, 36; Marcus
Cheatham, 16; Dwayne Escort, 14; and Destiny Cheatham, 6. They were
pronounced dead at the scene by the St. Mary Parish coroner.

Ladonna
Cheatham, who was driving a 2004 Kia Sorrento, was from Patterson.
Louisiana State Police did not specify where the younger victims were
from. Investigators said none of them had on seatbelts and they were all
thrown from the vehicle.

A fifth
person and only survivor in the SUV, Mark Cheatham, 17, was properly restrained and
suffered moderate injuries in the crash.

Tpr.
Stephen Hammons said the school bus was carrying 30 members of the
Lafayette High School baseball team and six adults, including the
driver. He reported “the left rear tire on Cheatham’s vehicle failed”
and veered off the left side of the road, crossed the median and slammed
into the school bus.

One of the adults on the bus, Cody
Ortego, 23, of Lafayette, was taken to the hospital with moderate
injuries. Seven students went to the hospital with minor injuries. 

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