A high school bus driver in Baldwin County, Alabama has been arrested for DUI, while she was taking students home Friday, May 11. Vicki Patrick, 58, has been charged with driving under the influence of alcohol and reckless endangerment. She’s currently in the Baldwin County jail with no bond.
Thanks to quick thinking from a 16-year-old student and passenger of Patrick’s, everyone on the bus was kept safe.
“She was swerving on the road and she was going really fast and then she was going really slow,” Robertsdale High School sophomore Cody Butler said, according to FOX10.
Baldwin County Jail
He knew something was terribly wrong on his way home from school Friday. He went to the front of the bus to see if his longtime bus driver, Vicki Patrick was okay. Butler said after he smelled alcohol and heard Patrick slurring her words, he walked back to his seat and called his mom to alarm her of the situation. Butler said Patrick couldn’t even form a complete sentence.
His mom then called 911 and Butler jumped into action. He said Patrick tried to pull over at a nearby fire station because an alarm was going off on the bus, but missed the turn and stopped alongside a nearby intersection. She then turned the bus off and tried to call in another bus to pick them up.
Fortunately, a Baldwin County School System employee saw the pulled over bus and stopped to see what had happened.
FOX10 reports what happened next:
“He was asking what was wrong and she said everything was fine and we were getting a new bus and I made hand motions to him to come help. I mouthed that she was drunk,” Butler said.
When Baldwin County Sheriff’s Deputies arrived, they said Patrick reeked of alcohol, was extremely disoriented and could barely stand or answer questions. She also refused sobriety tests.
Once she was taken into custody, Baldwin County School Superintendent Eddie Tyler, said Patrick’s blood alcohol level was 15 times over the limit.
A frightening ride home for all 25 students on board that could have ended worse, but Butler said he wasn’t going to let that happen.
“I didn’t let her turn on the bus. I just kept saying just stay where you are and people were coming.”