A Washington, D.C., elementary school bus driver operating a vehicle loaded with kids on the way back from a Northern Virginia field trip faces driving while intoxicated charges and other alleged, related offenses.
Fairfax County, Va., police claim that after failing a field sobriety test, the operator — who reportedly ran the bus off the road and into a ditch — allegedly registered a .20 blood alcohol content at a local jail, more than twice the legal limit in that state and most other states.
To make matters worse, the driver, 48, a Maryland resident, allegedly was behind the wheel of the school bus with its precious cargo while operating on a revoked Virginia license (from a previous DWI) and a suspended Maryland license, which perhaps raises fundamental questions about the school district’s screening process.
He was also allegedly carrying what is being described as a “fraudulent medical card.”
A total of 44 students and four adults were on board at the time; first responders at the scene treated nine of the kids for non-life-threatening injuries.
According to Fairfax PD, “The bus veered off Braddock Road and into a ditch on its way back to Murch Elementary School in Washington, D.C. The bus struck a rock, causing the rim to bend and the rear tire to flatten. [The suspect] continued driving until the adults on the bus convinced him to follow a second bus, which was also returning to the school from the field trip. The two buses stopped in a parking lot…”
After a 911 call, cops and EMTs responded to the parking lot and conducted an investigation there.
In addition to DWI, the driver, identified by law enforcement authorities as Troy Reynolds, was also charged with commercial DWI with child endangerment, and nine counts of gross, wanton, or reckless care for a child. He is currently being detained on a no-bond basis.
The kids were temporarily housed at the Criminal Justice Academy in nearby Chantilly, Va., where they played in the gym. They were later safely transported back to their D.C. school in a Fairfax County school bus.
To make this disturbing and potentially dangerous fiasco even more of a nightmare for parents who entrust their kids to the public school system, Fairfax detectives determined that there were rampant safety violations between the two buses as well as a third that was sent to replace the damaged one.
In addition, the school bus sleuths “determined that none of the bus drivers were properly licensed to operate a school bus,” which apparently is a reference to the lack of commercial licensing credentials.
The investigation is ongoing.
D.C. Schools Chancellor Lewis Ferebee release a statement via Twitter that read, in part, that “DCPS takes this incident very seriously, and our teams will do a thorough review of our transportation vendors to ensure that student safety is always prioritized. We are incredibly thankful that no one sustained injuries during this frightening incident.”
Watch a report on this incident aired by Fox 5 D.C.:
All suspects are presumed innocent until or unless they are convicted in a court of law of any alleged crimes.
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