An MTA bus driver from Hempstead was drunk and speeding when he crashed his car in October in Hempstead, killing one of his passengers and injuring two others, including his teenage son, Nassau County prosecutors said.
Donnell Hill, 51, was arraigned Tuesday in Mineola on charges of aggravated vehicular homicide, second-degree manslaughter, two counts of second-degree assault, first and second-degree vehicular assault, aggravated driving while intoxicated with a child, third-degree assault, endangering the welfare of a child, second-degree reckless endangerment, two counts of driving while intoxicated and reckless driving.
Hill pleaded not guilty and Acting Supreme Court Judge Terence Murphy set bail at $125,000 cash or $250,000 bond. If convicted of the top charge, he faces a potential maximum of 8 1/3 to 25 years in prison.
“Donnell Hill, a professional bus driver, was allegedly both drunk and speeding when he crashed his muscle car into a tree and killed one of his passengers and injured two others — including his 13-year-old son,” said District Attorney Anne Donnelly. “The defendant’s actions that evening showed a complete disregard for everyone on the roadway. A 26-year-old man died due to the allegedly reckless actions of this defendant.”
Hill’s Hauppauge-based defense attorney did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Hill's driver's license was suspended last year at the initial arraignment, a decision that has been continued since, said the district attorney's office spokesman, Brendan Brosh.
A spokesman for the MTA could not be immediately reached for comment,
On the evening of Oct. 29, 2022, Hill was driving his blue 2018 Dodge Charger drunk and at a high rate speed east on Jerusalem Avenue in Hempstead when he lost control of his car, crossed over the westbound lanes and crashed into a tree, prosecutors said.
Investigators said Hill drove his car in a circular "doughnut" pattern at least twice on a public roadway just before the crash.
Rear passenger Xavier Parris was ejected from the vehicle and was later pronounced dead at NYU Langone Hospital Long Island.
Two of the other occupants of the vehicle, including Hill’s son, were treated for injuries at Nassau University Medical Center in East Meadow.
Hill was arrested at the scene by Hempstead and Nassau County police.
He is due back in court on Sept. 20.