GONZALES — An Ascension Parish school bus carrying four elementary school children home Tuesday afternoon went off the side of a road nose first into New River Canal, a school spokeswoman said.

Jackie Tisdell, spokeswoman for the parish school system, said the children, the bus driver and an aide were able to escape through the rear emergency exit to dry land without major injury.

The bus went off Coon Trap Road where it intersects with West New River Street along the New River Canal outside of Gonzales, Tisdell said. West New River runs along the canal and has a steep slope along its side down to the water.

A picture published by WBRZ shows the bus after it had rolled down the slope of the bayou with a good portion of the bus's front end in the water.

The children, who were from G.W. Carver Primary School, and the two adults were taken to an area hospital as a precaution, Tisdell said.

Tisdell said the cause of the crash is unknown and under investigation but she noted the winding nature of the roads in that area.   

Follow David J. Mitchell on Twitter, @NewsieDave.