The driver of a car that crashed head-on into a school bus, injuring more than a dozen students near Denham Springs on Tuesday, was arrested Wednesday on first-offense driving while intoxicated.
Brandon J. Vince, 32, of 21780 Judge Smiley Road, Livingston, also faces 17 counts of vehicular negligent injuring and one count each of reckless operation, possession of Schedule I and Schedule IV drugs, possession of drug paraphernalia and restricted license, the Livingston Parish Sheriff’s Office said in a news release.
Vince was booked into the Livingston Parish Detention Center on Wednesday afternoon, sheriff’s spokeswoman Lori Steele said.
Sheriff’s deputies were called to the crash scene, near the intersection of Brown Road and Brandon Avenue, around 8 a.m. Tuesday, after Vince’s car crossed the center line of Brown Road and struck the bus, Steele said.
The bus was carrying 31 students to Juban Parc Elementary, about a quarter mile from the crash site, Livingston Parish Schools Superintendent John Watson said Tuesday.
Fifteen students were taken to area hospitals with minor injuries and as a precaution, officials said Tuesday. Another two students complained of injuries Tuesday evening and went to the hospital to be checked out, Steele said Wednesday.
Vince sustained “major injuries” in the crash, Steele said Wednesday, though precise details of his injuries were not disclosed.
Steele said the investigation is ongoing, and more arrest counts are possible.
Livingston Parish court records indicate Vince was charged in 2004 with operating a vehicle while intoxicated, running a red light and possession of marijuana and drug paraphernalia. Details of that case, including its outcome, were not immediately available Wednesday afternoon. Clerk staff said the case file, which had not been scanned into the Clerk of Court’s imaging system, could not be retrieved from storage until Thursday.
In October 2013, Vince pleaded no contest to driving with a suspended license, after he wrecked his car that June going around a curve near the intersection of La. 16 and La. 22 south of Port Vincent, court records show. According to the traffic report, Vince claimed another car had crossed the center line into his lane and he had to swerve off the road to avoid being hit. “Upon further investigation no skid marks were observed to indicate a second vehicle or loss of traction by (Vince’s) vehicle,” the traffic report noted. He was sentenced to time served.
Follow Heidi R. Kinchen on Twitter, @HeidiRKinchen. Contact her by phone at (225) 336-6981.