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School Bus Driver Charged With Driving Drunk On The Job

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Kimberly Hooley (Photo courtesy: Windham Police)

Kimberly Hooley (Photo courtesy: Windham Police)

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WINDHAM, N.H. (CBS) – A school bus driver was arrested Monday morning, charged with driving drunk on the job with children on her bus.

Windham police say they received a call just before 7 a.m. that a school bus was moving erratically through town.

A short time later, they received a second call that the bus was in the parking lot of the Windham Middle School.

WBZ-TV’s Christina Hager reports

Police confronted the driver, 50-year-old Kimberly Hooley of Londonderry, and discovered she had also hit a mailbox with her bus and lost a side mirror.

She was arrested and charged with driving drunk.

None of the students were hurt, but some were shaken by the incident. They ranged in age from 11 to 13 years old.

Windham Schools Superintendent Henry LaBranche told WBZ-TV that Hooley won’t be driving a school bus for the town anymore.

“I dropped my daughter off here this morning,” says Mike Laliberte. “ There were three police cruisers here, which is very atypical. It’s a very safe school.”

“It’s a little scary,” says mother Becky Kendzulek. “You drop your kids off in the morning and you expect them to get there safely on the school bus, and when you get the message, it does raise quite few alarms.”

First Student officials, meanwhile, said Hooley is “suspended pending the outcome of both an internal and police investigation.”

First Student says Hooley passed extensive background checks when she was hired about a year-and-a-half ago. A spokesperson says all drivers are subject to random drug and alcohol tests throughout the school year.

“The safety and security of the students we transport is our top priority. Prior to hire, all First Student drivers must pass extensive federal, state and local background checks, which include a drug screen. First Student also conducts random drug and alcohol screenings throughout an employee’s tenure with the company,” the company said, in a statement.

Hooley will be arraigned Nov. 14 in Salem District Court.

WBZ-TV’s Christina Hager contributed to this report.

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