LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- An Oldham County school bus driver was arrested Friday after she crashed a bus with more than 30 kids on it while intoxicated, according to district officials and Oldham County Police.
District Spokesperson Lori McDowell confirmed to WDRB that 54-year-old Lesley Harvey was driving bus 0305 with 33 Crestwood Elementary students on board just before 3 p.m. Friday when she crashed.
District officials began investigating after being notified of the crash, and contacted police after determining that Harvey appeared to be drunk at the time of the crash.
Oldham County Police said in a release Saturday evening that their investigation revealed Harvey hit several security poles at the entrance of a subdivision. She reported the collision to her supervisor and said that there was no damage so she continued on the route.
Parent Rachelle Sharar has two children who were on the bus at the time of the crash. Her children told her the bus felt like it swerved before hitting the cable barrier on Willow Bend Drive. Sharar says she was shocked to find out about the crash.
"First of all you get very and upset with them and then you try and rationalize it and figure out what in the world made this happen because it's completely out of character," Sharar said.
After Harvey reported hitting the barrier, school officials had her stop the bus and wait for them to come to her location, police say. She was then taken to a local hospital for a breath test, which is standard policy for the district. That's where school officials contacted Oldham County Police just before 4:30 p.m.
Once police conducted their investigation and questioned Harvey, she was taken into custody and booked into the Oldham County Detention Center on several charges including operating a vehicle under the influence of alcohol, failure to report an accident, 33 counts of wanton endangerment and leaving the scene of an accident.
She is being held on a $5,000 bond and is expected to appear in court Monday morning. McDowell said Harvey is the normal driver for bus 0305’s route from the elementary school.
No one was hurt and no other vehicles were involved in the crash, but the bus did sustain some damage, according to McDowell. Parents of the students on the bus were called and made aware of the situation.
Sharar says Harvey's behavior is completely unexpected and wants to learn more about what the driver may be going through before jumping to conclusions.
"She's always been the bus driver and she's always been very communicative and she's loved by the students, as far as I know my children just love her," She said. "It's important to find out all of the facts before you just jump the gun and say that she's just a terrible person all around."
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