Troubling questions surface about school bus driver’s past

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JEFFERSON COUNTY, Colo. -- There are troubling new allegations about the driver of a bus that struck three students in Jefferson County this week.

FOX31 Denver has learned that 43-year-old David Wayne Shaw has at one least drunken driving conviction on his record.

And that’s raising questions about whether he should have been hired as a school bus driver.

It's not unusual for someone with a DUI in Colorado to get their license back after a certain amount of time, especially as long as 20 years, but a person who has known this driver for more than 10 years says it's shocking that he was ever hired as a bus driver.

Shaw was hired as a substitute bus driver for Jefferson County Schools in October 2011.

We confirmed he was convicted for driving under the influence in 1992 in Englewood, and he was part of a Denver addiction rehab program as recently as 2009.

A person who claims to have known Shaw for more than ten years is shocked he was driving a school bus.

"He's been in and out of rehab for several years," Shaw's acquaintance said, who didn't want to be identified. "At least as many years as I've known him he's been in and out and kicked out because he won't abide by the rules and keeps just keeps on drinking."

Four girls and a boy from Summit Ridge Middle School were crossing the intersection at South Simms Street and West Bowles Avenue Tuesday afternoon, when Shaw's bus struck three of the girls.

The fourth girl said he appeared to see them.

"It was our cross signal so we could go across the street,” said one female student who was walking ahead of the other three girls. “We didn't notice it was our turn to walk for, like, three seconds. Then we turned around and realized it so we crossed the street, but the bus driver just kept going. He didn't even slow down."

A State Patrol spokesman says the investigator is off for a few days but definitely will charge Shaw in connection with the accident, but can't say what those charges will be.

"I would have thought for the school department that there would have been a background investigation done and I wouldn't have been surprised if they had done a blood alcohol test that day if he would have failed it," said Shaw's acquaintance.

The school district says they were aware of Shaw's previous DUI, but because it was 20 years ago he was still hired.

Shaw did not answer the door at his home for comment.

But we also confirmed Shaw drove for an RTD contractor called "First Transit" beginning in October 2010, but left in June of 2011. A First Transit spokesman couldn't say why.

Two of those girls were treated and released for their injuries, while the third is still at Children's Hospital in fair condition.

A hospital spokeswoman says the family does not wish to comment at this time.

We also tried to get the police record from Shaw's DUI arrest in 1992, but Englewood police did not respond to our requests.

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