LONGVIEW, Wash. — A school bus driver here was arrested recently after reportedly driving under the influence, police said.
At around 4:00 p.m. on Sept. 12, Longview Police Department officers were dispatched to locate a driver, identified as Catherine Maccarone, who appeared to be intoxicated, according to a statement posted on the Longview Police Department’s Facebook page. In the audio of a call to 911, obtained by ABC News, a student who had just gotten off the bus told the dispatcher that Maccarone was drunk and ran three red lights with students on board.
Before officers arrived, police said that dispatchers contacted the Longview Public Schools’ transportation office, and they were able to get Maccarone to pull the bus over. Officers said that they smelled “an obvious odor of intoxicants” when they arrested Maccarone, and that no students were on board at the time. However, police said that she did previously complete two afternoon bus routes. She is facing several charges, including driving under the influence and two counts of reckless endangerment.
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On Friday, Longview Public Schools said in a statement on its website that Maccarone remains on administrative leave pending completion of an internal investigation. Dan Zorn, the district's superintendent, added in the statement that “we are thankful all our students arrived home safely,” and that the district has now implemented “an improved process for screening drivers prior to driving their routes each day.”
Additionally, Zorn announced that a transportation representative from the Washington Department of Education is currently reviewing the district’s bus operations and may have other safety measures to consider for implementation.