Police in upstate New York say a school bus driver who hit a telephone pole on Monday morning while shuttling 35 kids to school was drunk.
The Journal News reported
that Mary Coletti, 56, had a 0.14-percent blood alcohol level when she submitted to a police breathalyzer test — exceeding the drunk-driving threshold of 0.08 percent.
Coletti was transporting 35 high school students to Walter Panas High School in Cortlandt via Red Mill Road when she sideswiped the pole around 7 a.m.
Some students suffered minor injuries during the accident.
Coletti now faces felony driving while intoxicated charges under Leandra's Law. That law applies to drunk driving with children on board. She is expected in court on May 18. Her bail has been set at $1,000.
Lakeland Superintendent George Stone said that Coletti's bus driver's license was revoked immediately, and that a new bus driver has been secured. The school district manages its own bus system, and says its safety screening includes regular testing for drugs and alcohol.
"As a district that places our very highest priority on the safety and security of our students, we're very concerned about what happened," Stone said. "We are going to cooperate with the police in their investigation. We're conducting our own investigation as well and plan to take all appropriate actions as necessary."
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