Bus driver accused of driving drunk with kids onboard | KOB 4
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Bus driver accused of driving drunk with kids onboard

Megan Abundis
September 25, 2018 06:45 PM

GALLUP, N.M.— A bus driver is accused of driving drunk with children onboard.

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"It's just so terrifying what might have happened," said Hamilton Charley, who had family on the bus.

Police say the bus driver was driving dangerously while dropping off students from Chi Chil Tah Jones Ranch Community School, in western New Mexico, Monday afternoon.

“He was driving all over the road. He was hitting the ruts, ran into a tree, broke the bus door, he smelled funny. He kept laying his head down and he wasn't focused on the road and he was speeding very fast," said Crystal Nelson, who also had family on the bus.

The students were not hurt. Many people are crediting an observant mother for preventing the worst.

“I started flickering my lights, the bus swerved and I started honking," said Pats Chatto. “I told him, 'park the bus and shut it off.' He shut it off (and) when he did, I took out the keys."

Navajo Nation police arrested the driver and families were reunited with their children.

“I just went over there and hugged them and almost cried,” Charley said.

Parents were demanding stricter background checks Tuesday.

The Bureau of Indian Affairs released the following statement:

"The safety and protection of BIE students is our highest priority.  The incident regarding the Chi Chil’tah Community School bus driver is currently being investigated and the school is fully cooperating with the Navajo Nation police department.  The driver was arrested for DUI and child endangerment. We have a zero tolerance for this type of behavior.  No students on the bus were injured and we are providing counseling for students, parents and staff.  We extend our sincerest thanks to the quick response of concerned parents." 

Credits

Megan Abundis

Copyright 2018 KOB-TV LLC, a Hubbard Broadcasting Company. All rights reserved

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