Last week, a school bus driver in Waynesville was arrested on suspicion of driving drunk while she had students onboard. According to WLOS ABC News Channel 13, the bus driver, 46-year-old Angell Kirkpatrick Benson, was arrested on Wednesday afternoon. Initial reports indicate that her Breathalyzer test showed she had more than twice the legal limit of alcohol in her system. She was reportedly swerving on the Smoky Mountain Expressway at about 3:30 p.m. Her school bus crossed the centerline at least twice, and nearly went off of the roadway, before a pursuing officer was able to pull her over. Benson was not able to perform field sobriety tests satisfactorily, and she was arrested.
School Bus Driver’s License Revoked in Waynesville
At the time she was pulled over, there were two children on her bus. They were removed from the bus, and Benson was arrested. She was charged with misdemeanor driving while impaired and failure to maintain lane control. Also, her license was revoked. Law enforcement officials report that additional charges may be pending. Benson is reportedly a program manager for a private afterschool education program called Roots in Education. They have an agreement with Haywood County Schools.
School Bus Injuries by The Numbers
Since 2000, 1,386 people have died in school transportation-related crashes.
That’s an average of 139 fatalities each year.
Since 2000, 130 school-age pedestrians have died in school transportation-related crashes.
Over two-thirds (67 percent) of those children were struck by school buses.
Six-percent were struck by vehicles functioning as school buses.
27-percent were struck by other types of vehicles.
Bus Accidents in Asheville
Although school buses are the statistically safest way to get children to and from school, those numbers don’t take into account bus drivers who are under the influence of drugs or alcohol. If you’re concerned about school bus safety, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has a variety of great tips for children and parents.
If your child has sustained an injury in a school bus accident or at a bus stop, contact the skilled and proven Personal Injury team at Davis Law Group, P.A. at 828-279-7799 for a free case consultation.