School Bus Driver Arrested for DUI



School bus driver arrested for DUI

Raquel Perry, Reporter/Marketing Manager

A school bus driver in Washington state is now facing charges of driving under the influence and reckless endangerment after a young 10 year old passenger on the bus called 911 to report that the driver was intoxicated.

Catherine Maccarone was arrested recently after a child who had just gotten off the bus told police that he believes the bus driver was drunk because of her uncontrollable behavior and the smell of alcohol, according to audio from the 911 call obtained by USA TODAY.

“The bus driver, Catherine, she was drunk, because she passed three red lights and she got on the side road by the 76. And there’s still kids on there,” the child told the dispatcher. “She’s like wobbling and her eyes, you can tell, she was drunk.”

In a surveillance video taken on the school bus and published by KGW,  when there were no children present on the bus, Maccarone — is heard saying her marriage “sucks” and her husband is “a son-of-a-gun.”

Later, when children are on the bus, she’s heard telling the kids, “Did I mention bus drivers have to be a little bit crazy?” while making hand gestures to indicate “a little bit.”

“I am crazy! I’m totally crazy! I am so fun crazy! … Because I love life,” Maccarone says. “Most people, they’re like, ah so quiet, and they don’t say nothing, I’m just super happy and silly and funny and you’re like, ‘Oh my gosh she’s crazy!’ I’m not crazy. I graduated college like three different times.”

The child told dispatchers that he tried to get him and his friends to get off the bus with him, but Maccarone would not let them. In a separate call, the school district’s transportation manager told 911 Maccarone was allegedly acting differently that day: “She’s just screaming and yelling and cursing at the kids and that’s not normally her behavior.”

Using the young boy’s description, police officers were able to find Maccarone,  just before 4 p.m. on Sept. 12 . They said that they  “smelled an obvious odor of intoxicants” coming from the Maccarone, according to the Longview Police Department.

Maccarone was arrested and placed on administrative leave, according to a statement from Longview Public schools. Investigators said Maccarone had just completed two afternoon bus routes, but there were no children on the bus at the time of the arrest. She allegedly had a blood-alcohol level of more than .09, just above the legal limit.

Superintendent Dan Zorn said a transportation representative from the state’s Department of Education will review the district’s bus operations and may offer additional safety recommendation.

“To help ensure this situation never happens again we implemented an improved process for screening drivers prior to driving their routes each day,” said Zorn in a statement. “The safety and security of our students and staff is a top priority.”