NJ school bus driver suspended for allegedly texting behind the wheel with kids on bus

Wednesday, October 4, 2017
NJ school bus driver suspended for allegedly texting behind the wheel with kids on bus
EMBED <>More Videos

A.J. Ross has the latest information on the incident.

OLD BRIDGE, New Jersey (WABC) -- An Old Bridge school bus driver is accused of texting and driving with a school bus full of kids.

The bus driver is now suspended without pay.

Captured in this cell phone video by an Old Bridge middle schooler Monday afternoon, the school bus driver seems to be barely keeping her eyes on the road.

"The whole time she's just looking at the phone and putting the children's safety at risk," said Natalia Lugo, a student.

The student showed the video to a parent who posted the clip in a private parent Facebook group, which sparked a wave of concerned calls to schools Superintendent David Cittadino.

"As a parent and I have four boys of my own at home and 9,000 students in the school district that I'm responsible for, I was angry, I was livid," Cittadino said.

Cittadino immediately called his director of transportation and ordered the driver removed from all school routes.

According to the bus company Shamrock Stage Coach, the driver previously had a clean driving record and had only been with the company four years.

She's since been suspended without pay.

"That is just not okay," said Grace Beckett, a parent. "It's not okay. I'm shocked like how do you do that to children they're innocent texting you know kills people and you got 20 kids in the bus."

One student who didn't want to show her face says she rode with the same driver before.

"Before when I had her she was always late, but I never saw her texting," the student said. "But now that I see that I wouldn't really want to ride the bus."

"You got to know better, that there's nothing more important going on, on that phone, on that text message, whatever it was that necessitated to keep a 25,000 moving vehicle going forward without putting the children as your first priority," a parent said.

Shamrock Stage Coach has the bus contract for most schools in Middlesex, Monmouth, and some schools in Ocean County.

The company's manager says they haven't had an incident like this before.