NewsCovering Louisiana


UPDATE: Slidell teen in good spirits after head-on crash

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Posted at 9:00 PM, Aug 14, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-16 13:51:15-04

SLIDELL, La. (AP) — A 17-year-old student driver and her instructor were critically injured after being hit head-on by a suspected drunk driver, police said.

Yesterday, the family posted that the teen had come out of surgery and was in good spirits. She still faces more surgery, they said. A GoFundMe has been set up to help her family with expenses. If you'd like to help, click here.

The crash happened Thursday shortly before 5:30 p.m. in Slidell. The teenager’s car had stopped to yield before merging when a car driven by Jarrod Sciacca, 34, hit the teen’s car head-on, police said. Sciacca’s car was going between 50 and 60 miles per hour, investigators said.

Here are some photos from the scene, courtesy of the Slidell Police Department:

Sciacca was suspected of being intoxicated during the crash, police said, and was arrested at the scene. He faces counts of first-degree negligent injury, reckless operation of a motor vehicle, driving while intoxicated and driving with a suspended license. He’s being held at the St. Tammany Parish jail on $60,000 bond. It was unknown if Sciacca has an attorney who could speak on his behalf.

His car flipped during the crash into a nearby roundabout and struck another vehicle, the driver of which sustained minor injuries.

Sciacca was not hurt, police said.

Here are his mug shot, and a photo of his arrest, courtesy of the Slidell Police Department.

The 17-year-old girl and the instructor, who were not identified, were transported to University Medical Center in New Orleans with multiple severe injuries ranging from broken bones to head trauma. Both are expected to survive, police said.

“The man responsible for this needs to spend as many years in jail as the law will allow. There is no excuse for him being behind the wheel of a vehicle,” Slidell Police Chief Randy Fandal said in a statement Friday. “I would also like to thank the many citizens who selflessly rushed to aid these two ladies.”

A mechanic shop owner was credited with extinguishing flames following the crash while others who witnessed the accident helped pull the vehicle occupants out of the wreckage to safety.

The teen's family posted this yesterday, seeking the names of the good Samaritans who got her to safety after the crash:

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