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Bus driver allegedly drunk; kids use cellphones to call for help

November 10, 2011 | 11:10 am

An allegedly drunk school bus driver who had been swerving "all over the road" with her 25 charges was stopped earlier this week because passengers on her bus made quick use of their cellphones.

"It was a good thing, obviously, they had their cellphones on them," said Sgt. Stephen Ent of the Westampton Township Police Department in New Jersey.

Bus driver Carole Crockett, 46, was in an elementary school parking lot Monday afternoon, getting ready to take another group of children on the road, when she was arrested.  But a repeat of Mr. Toad's Wild Ride: School Bus Edition never occurred because the earlier batch of kids had already phoned their parents, who called school officials, who called police.

It was a "lucky thing," Ent said in an interview with The Times. The bus driver was "getting ready to leave the second school with more children," and had the earlier calls not been placed, "she would have had more kids in danger."

Ent said students told their parents that Crockett was "swerving all over the road, and it appeared she was falling asleep at the wheel."

Police say Crockett's blood alcohol level was 0.25 -- which, because she was driving a commercial vehicle, was five times over the legal limit.

The suspect, who Ent said had had no previous run-ins with the law, now faces charges of driving under the influence on school property, endangering the welfare of a child, disorderly conduct and 25 counts -- one for each child -- of driving under the influence with a minor.

Bail was set at $85,000, Ent said. Crockett posted bail and was released with an upcoming court date of Nov. 17, according to the Courier Post.

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