Driver Faces More Charges in School Bus Accident

May 15, 2007

Reported by: Britney Glaser

Four people were hospitalized today following an early morning crash with a school bus on Highway 90 in Westlake.  The driver at fault in the accident has been charged with DWI, and it's not his first run-in with the law.

Shortly before 7:00 Tuesday morning, the driver of a Jeep Grand Cherokee was heading west on Highway 90 in Westlake near Walcot Road.  Trooper Sal Messina with Louisiana State Police Troop D, says, "The Jeep crossed left of the center line and hit almost head-on with a school bus. The vehicle behind the school bus had to veer between them and actually struck both vehicles."

Fortunately, no children were on board the school bus, but the driver took a major hit.  Gary Anderson with the Calcasieu Parish School Board was on the scene this morning and says, "All we could tell is that she did have injuries and they've taken her to West Cal-Cam Hospital. That's all we can say at this point."  The bus driver's injuries were moderate, but she is expected to fully recover.

The driver of the Mitsubishi was uninjured.  In the Jeep, however, there were two children (ages 7 and 12), along with 33 year old Shawn Adams of Sulphur.  All three were taken to the hospital.

Although Adams was injured in the accident, moments after it occurred witnesses saw something suspicious.  Messina says, "We had witnesses observe the driver throwing pills out in the ditch, and we did confiscate some pills for evidence that didn't dissolve in the ditchwater."

Adams has been charged with his third offense DWI, which is a felony.  Messina says motorists need to understand that you can get a DWI even if you are on prescribed medication.  "Impairment is impairment. We've been trying to get that message across here in the last year, we've gotten so many DWIs with drug impairment and no alcohol."

Adams has been released from the hospital and booked on seven charges at the Calcasieu Correctional Center.  His charges include: DWI, Child Endangerment, Negligent Injury, Driving Under Suspension, Driving Left of Center, Child Restraint and Possession of Schedule IV Drugs.

Louisiana State Police and the Calcasieu Parish School Board will continue to investigate this incident.