Investigation Into Shelton Bus Driver Sleeping at Wheel Underway | NBC Connecticut

Investigation Into Shelton Bus Driver Sleeping at Wheel Underway

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    NEWSLETTERS

    (Published Friday, Jan. 6, 2017)

    There are new developments surrounding the arrest of a former school bus driver arrested for falling asleep at the wheel.

    "Everyone started yelling and screaming wake up and he started yelling back at us that he's not sleeping," a 12-year-old girl riding the school bus Dec. 16 told NBC Connecticut.

    Shelton police won’t release additional information, except to say there is an open internal affairs investigation into the "details" of that terrifying December bus ride, as described by one of the little girls on board.

    Former driver, 55-year-old Paul Pixley, according to police, was asleep at the wheel with as many as 30 Shelton Intermediate Students on board.

    The child’s mother wants answers.

    "If he was on a methadone program, why was he hired? After the bus was pulled over, they definitely should've done a tox screening,” Vienna DiPave told NBC Connecticut late last month.

    According to the arrest warrant, Pixley admits he took methadone and also says he may have taken Nyquil instead of Dayquil.

    Greg Walter, the vice president at Ontario-based Landmark transportation, has been in Connecticut the entire week looking for answers as to what happened with Pixley, telling the NBC Connecticut Troubleshooters he did not drive a school bus after the incident in question.

    "I told my employees, I wanted to contact the officer that was at the scene because I needed to know why he was not breathalyzed or drug tested and they said to me that the Officer said he was, based on his experience, he was pretty sure that it was a medical condition and I questioned if it was medical why wasn't 911 called."

    DCF and the DMV are also investigating.

    “I want to make sure every page is turned. That we are taking a look at everything to make sure something like this doesn't happen again, but I want to tell you the person responsible is Paul Pixley."

    At this week's Board of Education meeting, Shelton's superintendent told parents he met with Greg Walter, and the district has lost confidence in Landmark. After a “frank discussion”, according to Dr. Chris Clouet,  “The result was, not only is the driver no longer working for the company and will have no association with our children in any way but the local manager is also going to be removed. And we are going to monitor very closely how their hiring practices, are implemented and our team will be doing random checks."

    The school district will now be doing spot checks on Landmark hiring records and responses to documented accidents. Landmark will also randomly check bus videos too.

    Walter said video the company reviewed shows Pixley coherent when he checked in before his run that December day, but when he turned the bus on he says Pixley fell asleep.

    "Paul Pixley either made some bad decisions or had some sort of medical problem, or both," Walter added.

    Both the bus company and the superintendent say Paul Pixley was fired and never got behind the wheel again after the incident.

    The Department of Motor Vehicles paid a visit Tuesday to landmark, results of what they found could be available late next week.

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