A bus driver in Vernon is facing legal trouble eight months after she crashed a school bus full of children.
Stacey Beaudry, 34, was arrested over the weekend and police suspect she was impaired at the time of the crash in April. Beaudry is charged with risk of of injury, reckless endangerment, reckless driving and making a false statement.
According to the arrest warrant, police say Beaudry endangered her passengers by driving a bus after she had taken narcotic medication and while she was not feeling well.
Thirteen students were sent to the hospital as a result of the crash. They were all OK and made it back to school the next day, but children on the bus reported Beaudry appeared to be falling asleep at the wheel moments before the crash.
According to arrest papers, she told investigators she over-corrected the steering wheel.
Beaudry was suspended from her bus driving job after the crash.
Vernon Police say lab results showed Beaudry had a positive urine test for benzodiazepines, opiates and trace amounts of alcohol. However, a state toxicology lab found no drugs or metabolites in her blood.
Beaudry could not be reached for comment on her recent arrest, but arrest papers reveal she admitted to police she took several pills the morning of the crash. According to the warrant, Beaudry said she called out of work and did not expect to be driving that day. But when her boss called her, she said she felt she was ok to drive.
Arrest papers show the state said it is possible Beaudry could have been impaired at the time of the accident, but there is no definitive way to prove that she was or was not. Police, however, said Beaudry appeared very dazed and tired when they interviewed her after the crash. They said she even dropped her head and closed her eyes several times as they spoke.
Vernon Public Schools could not comment specifically on Beaudry, but they did tell us bus drivers go through extensive testing and screening.
"The children's safety is our biggest concern and certainly we have to partner with the bus company, with everybody and with the police department," said Superintendent Mary Conway.
Beaudry posted a fifty thousand dollar bond after her arrest.
But she's facing other trouble with an unrelated arrest in September for possession of narcotics. The details of that case have since been sealed.
First Student provides transportation for Vernon Public Schools. The company said prior to employment, each driver is required to pass a drug screen and drivers are subject to random drug and alcohol testing.