Driver charged with texting in Destrehan bus accident

Pushed car under the bus; 17 students riding on bus were not injured

The driver of a Nissan Xterra is accused of texting just before hitting and then pushing a Honda Accord under a school bus at a regular stop around 3:14 p.m. Monday (May 1) on Ormond Boulevard.

“It is suspected that this crash occurred because the at-fault driver was distracted while operating the vehicle,” said St. Charles Parish Sheriff’s Office spokesman Cpl. James Grimaldi.

The Nissan driver was issued a citation for careless operation, texting while driving and not wearing a seatbelt, Grimaldi said.

The driver and a passenger of the Nissan complained of pain, as well as the driver of the Honda, he added.

The Harry Hurst Middle School bus was stationary at a regular stop on the boulevard when the Nissan struck the Honda in the northbound lane, shoving the vehicle under the bus.

There were 17 students on the bus and all apparently uninjured, said Pat O’Malley, the School District’s administrator of ancillary services. Their parents were notified by school officials, and another bus brought to the scene that brought them home.

Amy Hill Eiler said her son, Aidan who was on the bus, told her none of the students knew who hit who during the impact. “They were tossed up as the car slid  underneath the bus,” Eiler said. “As reported, thankfully, all were released after paramedics checked each student and parents were told to monitor their children.”

She praised parish authorities’ fast response to the scene and for them allowing her to be with her son at the accident.

According to Grimaldi, “It is important to eliminate distractions around you while operating a vehicle. Make sure you are not tempted to use your cell phone, change radio stations or divert your attention to anything else because your careless mistake puts others’ lives at risk.”


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