ILLINOIS — An Illinois bus driver was fired and charged after reportedly drinking beer while driving 32 children to school.
Michelle Passley, 44, was fired Monday after surveillance footage from the bus showed her drinking from two cans of beer while behind the wheel of a school bus, ABC News reports.
“When we put our children on the school bus in the morning, the idea is that we have placed our kids in the safekeeping of someone who is going to is going to take good care of them,” Aurora Police Department Chief Kristen Ziman said at a press conference Tuesday afternoon, before releasing the disturbing footage. “It’s infuriating to believe that someone who is trusted with these children on a daily basis could potentially put them in this kind of danger.”
Officers said the charges came after they received a tip from a manager at the First Student Bus Company who claimed “an observant convenience store clerk” called the called East Aurora School District 131 on Nov. 15, saying they’d just sold beer to a woman and then watched her get onto a school bus and drive away.
“Aurora Police detectives opened a criminal investigation into the matter and began collecting evidence, looking at video clips and interviewing witnesses,” the department said in a statement. “Detectives learned the bus driver picked up the school bus around 6 a.m. on Friday and completed one route. She then stopped at a gas station in the 900 block of North Farnsworth Avenue and purchased two cans of beer, returned to the bus, and drove off.”
Passley has been charged with two counts of endangering the life/health of a child.
She was released on a $100 bond.