LONGVIEW, Wash. — A school bus driver in Washington faces charges of driving under the influence and reckless endangerment after a child who had just gotten off the bus called 911, claiming the driver was intoxicated, police said.
Catherine Maccarone, 48, is on administrative leave while Longview Public Schools carries out its internal investigation of the Sept. 12 incident, the district said Friday.
In the 911 call, the child said the driver passed three red lights and “there’s still kids on there.” The driver was wobbling, the child said, and in her eyes “you can tell she was drunk.”
The 911 communications center contacted the school district transportation office and the bus driver was stopped, the Longview Police Department said in a Sept. 13 Facebook post.
Responding police officers “smelled an obvious odor of intoxicants coming from Maccarone,” the post said.
There were no children on board at the time of the arrest, police said, but she had just completed two afternoon bus routes.
Maccarone was arrested and charged with two counts of reckless endangerment and DUI, police said, adding additional charges could come after the investigation is finished.
The school has put “an improved process” in place for screening bus drivers every day before they start their routes, Longview Public Schools superintendent Dan Zorn said in a statement.
A transportation representative from the state’s education department is also “reviewing district bus operations and may have other safety measures to consider for implementation,” the statement said.
“We are thankful all our students arrived home safely,” Zorn said.