Bus Driver Charged After 911 Call From 5th-Grader

'There's still kids on there,' student tells dispatcher
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 22, 2019 9:15 AM CDT

(Newser) – It's one thing when a child calls 911 to report this of an adult: "She's like wobbling, and then her eyes—you can tell she was drunk." It's another when that child is a fifth-grader and the adult in question is driving his school bus. The boy first called his mother to ask what to do. Call 911, said his mother, who doesn't speak English well. The driver was arrested and charged, KOMO reports. The driver ran three red lights, the Washington state student said, adding, "There's still kids on there." When police caught up to the school bus, the driver had finished two afternoon routes, they said, and the bus was empty. The student had told 911 that "her breath sort of smelled like alcohol," and officers agreed; a police statement said they "an obvious odor of intoxicants coming from" the driver.

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Officers arrested the 48-year-old driver, who's charged with reckless endangerment and driving under the influence, per NBC. Another clue was that the driver was not as strict with her passengers as usual, the student said. Longview Public Schools said it has improved its daily screening of drivers before they start their routes and put the driver on administrative leave since the arrest earlier this month. The state is reviewing the school district's processes, as well. (Read more drunk driving stories.)

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