School bus driver impaired on route

By: Brian Shlonsky Email
By: Brian Shlonsky Email

GRAND JUNCTION, Colo (KKCO) __ A First Student Bus driver was pulled over early this morning after an alert student texted her parent that the driver smelled of alcohol and was acting funny.

The parent alerted authorities, and Colorado State Patrol pulled over the driver at about seven o’clock Tuesday morning. The students had already been dropped off at Orchard Mesa Middle School.

Gary Williams, 54, was arrested and then released on a summons for Driving While Ability Impaired, Child Abuse, and Failing to Drive in a Designated Lane. The DWAI charge indicates the driver’s blood alcohol content was less than 0.08%

First Student issued the following statement to KKCO 11 News, “On the morning of Tuesday, April 10, a First Student driver was taken into custody by Colorado State patrolmen following reports of unsafe driving. At this time, the driver is suspended pending the outcome of an investigation. The safety and security of the students we transport daily is our top priority. We take issues such this very seriously and are cooperating fully with local law enforcement as they conduct their investigation.”

State Patrol says the a REDDI, or Report Every Drunken Driver Immediately, notification was activated after the parent called authorities. CSP troopers found the bus, and immediately pulled over the driver.

First Student tells 11 News the driver reported to work as usual this morning and was not exhibiting any unusual symptoms. He had a conversation with the lead driver, who did not notice anything unusual and when Williams was at the school, he talked to the location safety manager who also did not report anything out of the ordinary.

First Student says the Orchard Mesa Middle School stop was the driver’s first stop of the morning, he reported for his shift at 6 o’clock Tuesday morning, and was pulled over shortly after 7 AM.

CSP Says there were about 30 students on the bus. No one was hurt.

Williams has been with first student since 2008.

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