HOPKINTON (CBS)– A school bus driver has been charged with operating under the influence — his third offense — while driving a bus full of high school students, police say.

On Saturday, 25 Hopkinton High School cross country athletes were returning from a meet in Falmouth at about 10:30 p.m., when the coach on the bus called police and reported concerns that the bus driver might be intoxicated, according to a Hopkinton police statement. Police met the bus as it turned into the high school’s parking lot and let students off safely.

The bus driver, identified as Robert E. Murphy, 59, of Ashland, was given a field sobriety test, police said. He was arrested and charged with operating a motor vehicle under the influence of alcohol, third offense, and operating a motor vehicle to endanger.

Boys Cross Country Coach Jennifer Fairbanks told WBZ-TV’s Jim Smith that the bus driver was swerving.

“We were heading home from a race down on Cape Cod and there were a few things that I finally put together,” Fairbanks said. “It still makes me nervous.”

Hopkinton cross country coach Jennifer Fairbanks (WBZ-TV)

Hopkinton cross country coach Jennifer Fairbanks, who called police. (WBZ-TV)

Fairbanks said she called police, but she didn’t want the students to know anything was wrong.

“I was just dealing directly with police,” she said. “My biggest concern was just keeping all the kids on the bus safe.”

Murphy is set to be arraigned in Framingham District Court on Monday.


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