School Bus Driver Charged With Driving Drunk On The Job

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.

  • JohnC

    Please, PLEASE, if this woman is found guilty, big fine, long license suspension, some jail time.

  • Jeff

    If she is guilty of this then definately she will never drive a school bus again. All school bus drivers are randonly tested for drugs and alcohol at least here in Mass. It’s the law. Being a school bus driver is an awesome responsibility and the stress level is very high. I have been one and I know. This does not condone drunk driving though. This woman needs help and I hope that she gets it.

    • Connor G

      Kimberly, used to be my bus driver. I’m currently a Freshman in High school. Kimberly always seemed to be a nice lady, and she always had control of her students. What can I say, that’s what alcohol does to you.

      • kathaleen

        Connor it sounds like you really like being on Kimberly bus and thought nice things about her. Why are you bashing her and accusing her of drinking alcohol? If you read the newspaper it said that she took a breathalyzer and passed with a 0.0 which means no alcohol in her system at all.

  • Tgreen

    I’m not surprised…this is what you get when you deal with “first student”….there drivers are abusive to children and so forth. My special needs child cannot look at a bus without hiding thanks to an abusive incident with their driver and they did NOTHING!!!! Neither did the school system who said their hands are tied!! First Student doesn’t care about the children they are responsible for, they only care about making money off of them!

  • Miller

    I cannot believe that this happened. Kimberly was my daughter’s bus driver and she was fantastic. She always looked out for and took care of the kids. I just can’t help but wonder if she took cold medicine or something that she didn’t realize the effects. From my experiences with her, I just can’t imagine she would ever knowlingly put a child in harms way. Thank goodness no-one was hurt. I just hope she gets the help she needs.

    • Sarah

      Miller I am so shocked that you are accusing Kimberly and hoping she gets help. When all you could do was talk about how fantastic a bus driver she was. Are you throwing her under the bus like everybody else before we even know what really happened.

  • Denise

    I just hope that if the “extensive” tests show she wasn’t drunk – the media will post her picture again and claim her innocents… but that would be boring news!

  • Sherry Rich Bailey

    I worked at the londenderry bus terminal for first student a couple years back I was the dispatcher and I knew Kimberly personaly as she was one of my drivers.There is no way in hell she was drinking!I think it is a shame she is being acused of being drunk when I am sure the facts are true that she had some issues with medication.So Kimberly…when you are cleared of these alligations,make sure you sue the media for deffimation of character !

  • Judy

    Today was Kimberley’s court date in Salem NH what happened?

  • jason

    First of all Londonderry bus terminal is NOT first student do you know where you worked? It is STA! You got fired from Londonderry along with Kimberly. She may not have been drinking she may have been on drugs and no one ever accused her of being drunk. They accused her of DUI (Driving under the influence) NOT DWI (driving while intoxicated) Read the local papers and WMUR they said DUI not DWI. Anyway if today was her court date why are you not in here to say she was proving innocent by her blood test results?

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