Slidell PD arrest suspected drunk driver, student driver and instructor in critical condition

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A driving instructor and a student driver are in critical condition after a suspected drunk driver crashes into them head-on in Slidell Thursday evening.

Slidell Police say 34-year-old Jarrod Sciacca was driving in the wrong lane on Robert Boulevard when the crash happened.

A Slidell Police report says, “Shortly before 5:30 p.m. on Thursday, a 17-year-old student driver, and her instructor, were traveling east on Brownswitch Road in a 2015 Nissan Versa. As they approached the roundabout, at the intersection of Brownswitch Road and Robert Boulevard, they began to yield in order to travel south on to Robert Boulevard. As they were merging, a 2005 Jeep Liberty, driven by 34-year-old, Jarrod Sciacca, was traveling north on Robert Boulevard. For unknown reasons, Sciacca was traveling in the opposing lane at a high rate of speed (estimated between 50 -60 miles per hour), and struck the Nissan Versa, head-on. Sciacca’s jeep flipped onto its side and struck a 2018 Toyota Highlander, which was also traveling through the roundabout. The driver of the Toyota Highlander suffered minor injuries.”

They say the car the 17-year old was driving caught fire after the crash. Several bystanders rushed in to pull the teen and the driving instructor out of the burning car. The owner of a nearby mechanic shop also rushed in to extinguish the flames.

The teen driver and instructor were rushed to University Medical Center in New Orleans.

Police say Sciacca was not injured in the crash and was suspected to be impaired. He was arrested on the scene and charged with two counts of first-degree negligent injury, reckless operation of a motor vehicle, driving while intoxicated, and driving with a suspended license.

“My prayers go out to the young student driver and her instructor,” said Slidell Police Chief Randy Fandal. “We are extremely grateful they survived the crash, but they did not deserve this. They didn't even see it coming. 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. I would also like to thank the many citizens who selflessly rushed to aid these two ladies. We are all extremely grateful for your actions.”