The driver completed her routes while allegedly intoxicated, driving recklessly as the kids screamed in fear
A bus driver in Washington State was arrested on September 12th after several students on her bus called the police. The driver, 48-year-old Catherine Maccarone, was driving students home while allegedly intoxicated. It led to an incredibly frightening ride for the nearly 90 students on her two routes that afternoon.
In the horrifying footage which was recently released, you can see the jaw-dropping scene as it played out. The video was captured on the the bus security camera. You can hear Maccarone yelling incoherently and mumbling mostly incomprehensibly while driving the bus. “I’m crazy!” she yells to the students. “I’m totally crazy! I am so fun crazy… because I love life!” She’s also seen swerving the bus erratically while the fearful kids scream. She seems unfazed by the children yelling and continues her rant.
Several children called 9-1-1 as a result of the terrifying ride. One 10-year-old boy told the operator exactly what was happening once he safely got off the bus. “Ummm, yeah, hello. … We just got off the bus — me and my friend,” he said in an audio recording released to ABC News. “And on bus 8 … the bus driver, Catherine, she was drunk.”
When the operator asks the child how he knew his bus driver was drunk he replied, “She passed three red lights and she got on the side road by the 76. And there’s still kids on there. And I was telling my friend to get off with me — and his sister — but the bus driver wouldn’t let him.” He further explained, “She was like wobbling and her eyes, you could tell she was drunk.”
Soon after, the driver was pulled over by police. At that point, she had already completed her routes and no students were left on the bus. Thankfully, no one was injured as a result of the reckless driving. Officers stated that when they pulled her over there was an obvious smell of alcohol and it was clear that she was likely intoxicated, as the students had reported. When given a breathalyzer, the driver blew a .096 which is just above the legal limit.
Maccarone was arrested and was immediately placed on administrative leave, the school district said. She has since resigned and is currently out on bail. Maccarone is due in court on October 15th and is being charged with DUI and reckless endangerment, though police say she could face additional charges.
The school superintendent, Dan Zorn, said in a statement about the event, “Putting our students at risk with irresponsible behavior will not be tolerated.” He went on to say this was an isolated and unfortunate incident. The school district also says they have implemented new safety procedures that will better screen their bus drivers.