A suspended Metropolitan Transportation Authority bus driver was sentenced Tuesday to up to 15 years in prison for crashing into a tree while driving drunk with his personal car in 2022, killing a 26-year-old passenger and injuring other people in the car, including his then-13-year-old son, prosecutors said.

Donnell Hill, 52, was sentenced to 5 to 15 years in prison for the Hempstead crash that killed Xavier Parris, of Uniondale, prosecutors said in a statement. In January, Hill pleaded guilty to several charges, including aggravated vehicular homicide, second-degree assault and driving while intoxicated.

Hill has been suspended from the MTA without pay since October 2022, Joana Flores, a spokeswoman for MTA, said Tuesday evening. Flores could not give a timeline on when a decision on his employment would be made. 

Nassau County District Attorney Anne Donnelly said in a statement that Parris was a charismatic man who “had his whole life ahead of him.”

“We hope that today’s prison sentence brings some solace to Xavier’s many family members and friends who continue to mourn his loss,” Donnelly said in the statement.

On Oct. 29, 2022, Parris was one of four passengers in a 2018 Dodge Charger operated by an intoxicated Hill east on Jerusalem Avenue in Uniondale around 10:36 p.m. Hill had driven the car in a “doughnut” pattern multiple times before the crash on a roadway, prosecutors said.

Five seconds before the deadly crash, Hill was driving 97 mph and not using the brake, prosecutors said, citing the car's data recorder. The speed limit in that area was 30 mph, prosecutors said.

Hill lost control of the car, veering into the westbound lanes and striking a tree at about 49 mph, prosecutors said.

Parris, who was a rear passenger, was ejected from the vehicle, prosecutors said. He was taken to NYU Langone Hospital — Long Island, where he was pronounced dead at 2:11 a.m.

Hill’s son and another passenger were taken to Nassau University Medical Center for injuries. One passenger did not go to a hospital.

Hill was arrested at the scene. Two hours after the crash, his blood alcohol content was .13%. The Department of Motor Vehicles says on its website that a blood alcohol content of 0.08% or above is "evidence of intoxication."

Correction: Blood alcohol content of 0.08% of above is "evidence of intoxication," according to the state Department of Motor Vehicles. An earlier version of this story gave an incorrect percentage.

Latest videos

YOU'VE BEEN SELECTED

FOR OUR BEST OFFER ONLY 25¢ for 5 months

Unlimited Digital Access.

cancel anytime.