Pictures of a bus driver nodding off in the rear-view mirror were taken by a few of the scared kids riding on his bus. The kids called and texted their parents, who were waiting for their arrival at home. Many of the parents texted or phoned back similar directions to their kids on the school bus, which was, “get off at the next stop.” The young traumatized passengers heeded the urgent advice from their parents and exited the bus at the very next stop.
When the bus started to swerve the kids looked up to see the bus driver’s eyes closed and the text messages went out to parents, who called the police. It was about 3:40 p.m. when the police in Shelton, Connecticut, received calls about a bus driver nodding off behind the wheel and driving erratically with children on the bus. Pictures the school kids captured of their bus driver asleep at the wheel appear in a collage tweeted below.
Shelton bus driver Paul Pixley is set to be arraigned today--accused of falling asleep while driving kids. These are Snapchat pics they took pic.twitter.com/tltsievKlA— Marissa Alter (@MarissaAlter) December 28, 2016
One of the many pictures of the bus driver sleeping posted to Snapchat has a caption that simply says, “My bus driver is sleeping,” reports the New York Daily News. As you can see in the Twitter post above another child wrote, “OMGG” and yet another child posted “Sleep” for a caption on their picture.
When the police pulled Paul Pixley over driving the bus, none of the 30 student passengers were in the vehicle, as they all heeded the advice of their caregivers to just “get off.” Police determined all the kids got off at an earlier stop because the 55-year-old man kept falling asleep behind the wheel.
Some of the kids called their parents, and others texted to those at home waiting for them to at the end of the school day. One parent who talked to NBC Connecticut News said that her daughter was “absolutely hysterical.” Vienna DiPiave described just how frightened her daughter was during the phone call she made while riding on the bus as the driver swerved all over the road.
The mom couldn’t understand a word her daughter was saying at first because she was so shaken on the bus as the driver was drifting on and off asleep. Some of the kids called or texted their parents to come and get them after getting off the bus at a stop that wasn’t their normal after school drop-off spot.
Police arrested Pixley on 30 counts of risk of injury to a minor, second-degree breach of the peace, second-degree reckless endangerment and reckless driving, reports Channel 22 News Connecticut. He is being held on a $75,000 bond. According to Fox News, the manager of the bus company showed up on the scene to drive the bus back to the company. He said that Pixby had recently fallen asleep behind the wheel of the bus and rolled backward into a car while at an intersection. This was only nine days before this incident.
The bus is equipped with a video, which provided police with the evidence needed for the charges levied against Pixby. He can be seen on the bus nodding off, and at one point when a student yelled at him in an attempt to wake him up, he yelled back “I’m not sleeping.” The children are seen being thrown from their seats at one point during this bus ride after the driver fell asleep and jammed on the brakes, reports Fox News.
Police discovered that Pixby had students on the bus when he fell asleep in the driver’s seat 10 times in the matter of an hour and a half on December 16, the day police pulled him over. He had done a few runs that day with children from the high school and middle school. The video showed also showed how on that same day Pixley was driving an empty bus on his way to pick up students. He pulled the empty bus over to the side of the road and then he unbuckled his seat belt and exited his seat. He stands facing the back of the bus as if people were there and starts yelling inside the bus, which was void of all passengers.
Pixby admitted to taking methadone, which is a drug he legally gets from a local methadone clinic. He did not put this information on his job application for the bus company because “they didn’t ask.” The judge was asked by Pixby’s attorney, Jonathan Gable, that he be released on a promise to appear. The judge refused this request, citing the seriousness of the charges he is facing.
During his hearing, the bus driver requested to speak, but the judge denied his request. The judge also forbade Pixby to drive a bus while this case is pending, ordered an evaluation for substance abuse, and kept Pixby on the $75,000 bond originally set on the day of his arrest. His next appearance in court is slated for January 18, 2017.
[Featured Image by Jae C. Hong/AP Photo]