MTA Driver Sentenced For DUI Crash That Killed Passenger, Injured Son In Hempstead

A former MTA bus driver who drove drunk — going in donuts and speeding down a Long Island road at nearly 100 miles per hour — will now serve a lengthy prison sentence for killing one of his passengers.



Photo Credit: Unsplash/wesleyphotography

Hempstead resident Donnell Hill, age 52, received his sentence of five to 15 years behind bars for the fatal crash on Tuesday, March 26, the Nassau County District Attorney announced.

Hill was working as a bus driver for the MTA at the time of the Hempstead crash, which occurred on October 29, 2022.

At around 10:35 p.m. that night, Hill was drunk and driving his 2018 Dodge Charger at 97 miles per hour eastbound on Jerusalem Avenue. He had four additional passengers in his car at the time, including his then-13-year-old son.

While barrelling down towards Ingraham Boulevard, Hill lost control of the car, crossed into the westbound lanes, and crashed into a tree at nearly 50 miles an hour.

Xavier Parris, age 26, was ejected from his seat in the back of Hill’s Charger and suffered extensive injuries. He was pronounced dead at a nearby hospital hours later.

Two of the other three passengers (including Hill’s son) were taken to Nassau University Medical Center with various injuries.

Hill’s blood alcohol content was .13 percent when taken two hours after the crash. Additionally, the investigation revealed that Hill had driven his car in donuts on the roadway at least twice just before the crash.

“[Hill was] responsible for the lives of countless passengers along his routes,” said DA Anne T. Donnelly. “But on October 29, 2022, any sense of duty clearly did not extend to his personal life.”

She continued, “Xavier Parris had his whole life ahead of him. A charismatic young man who was loved by his Uniondale community. We hope that today’s prison sentence brings some solace to Xavier’s many family members and friends who continue to mourn his loss.”

Hill had previously pleaded guilty in January 2024 to the following charges:

  • Aggravated vehicular homicide;
  • Assault, second- and third-degree;
  • Aggravated driving while intoxicated with a child; and
  • Driving while intoxicated. 

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