HISD school bus driver admits to taking medication before crash, court records say

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- Authorities say prescription drugs are suspected in a crash earlier this week involving an HISD school bus in northeast Houston.

It was 8:30 a.m. Tuesday, and four students were headed to North Forest High School when police say HISD bus driver Pamela Flowers crashed into a parked trailer at 7700 Sterlingshire.

According to authorities, at least four high school students were on the bus and a bus aide, but no one was seriously hurt.

Court records say Flowers told officers on scene that she had taken medication just 30 minutes before the crash.

"HPD responded. They noticed obvious signs of intoxication, put her through field sobriety tests and things of that nature, determined that she was, in fact, intoxicated," said Sean Teare, chief of vehicular crimes for the Harris County District Attorney's Office.

The HISD employee's union president says Flowers has been a bus driver for about a year. They said student safety is of the utmost importance, and bus drivers receive training and take their job very seriously.

"I don't know exactly what happened with this situation with the driver, but the driver is responsible for when they get on the bus. They're responsible, like teachers are in the classroom," said Wretha Thomas, president of the HISD Educational Support Personnel Union.

ABC13 Eyewitness News talked to Flowers on the phone. She said she'd call us back, but never did.

The district attorney's office is glad no one was seriously hurt and hopes this can be a lesson for everyone.

"I think it should also highlight to people that it's not just alcohol, there's no allegation that she was drinking, you can be intoxicated on prescription medication, illicit drugs, over the counter medication," said Teare.

HISD sent the following statement in regard to the incident:

HISD cannot comment on the details of the ongoing police matter. In the wake of the incident, the district is conducting safety meetings at all bus terminals to remind drivers about district protocols and stress the importance of school bus safety. We continually strive to deliver safe, professional and reliable transportation for our students, as their safety and well-being is always our top priority.

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