An 18-wheeler slammed into the back of a school bus carrying children in Livingston Parish Friday morning, sending one elementary school student to the hospital and igniting a fireball that closed a major road for hours.

The driver of the bus was early in her route to Doyle Elementary School in Livingston when she stopped on Florida Boulevard near Satsuma to pick up a student, said Delia Taylor, a spokesperson for Livingston Parish Public Schools.

"The parent was with her child about to board the bus when the truck hit the school bus," Taylor said. 

Taylor said three children were riding the bus at the time of the crash. One child was transported to Our Lady of the Lake Hospital and would spend Friday night there for observation of non-life-threatening injuries, she said. The other children were released to their parents.

The school spokeswoman heralded the bus driver as a "hero" who acted quickly and professionally to care for the students after the crash.

"She was able to get the students off the bus safely and had the presence of mind to know where everyone was and to react," Taylor said. 

The back end of the school bus was smashed in the incident. The 18-wheeler went up in flames.

State Police spokesman Senior Trooper Bryan Lee said the crash occurred around 7:30 a.m. Florida Boulevard near South Satsuma Road was closed until around noon while authorities cleaned up the crash. 

Truck driver Christopher Yawn, 38, of Hammond, was cited for careless operation, Lee said.