Police: Drunk school bus driver took students on bumpy ride in Pennsylvania

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Wednesday, November 25, 2015

HAMILTON TOWNSHIP, PA (KTRK) -- A former Pennsylvania bus driver is facing charges after police say she was drunk when she took students on a bumpy ride earlier this month.

Vannessa Baillis allegedly ran off the road, almost taking out a utility pole in Hamilton Township during that morning ride to school, according to court documents.

She has since been fired by the Stoudsburg School District.

Students say the woman forgot where she was going and was even seen falling asleep behind the wheel while they were on their way to school.

"She just acted different," eighth grade student Emma Valinote told WNEP-TV. "She was acting weird."

Valinote sent a text message to her father after she was the first student to board the bus at 6:30am.

The text read: "My bus driver is scaring me. She's driving really bad."

Her father, John Valinote, says his daughter called him crying saying Baillis drove by their home three times rather than the usual one-time pass.

Seven students were able to get off the bus when Emma Valinote asked the driver to stop on a patch of pavement right off Route 209.

State troopers performed a field sobriety test and say Baillis fell asleep in front of them.

An investigation revealed she had oxycodone and a powerful anti-anxiety drug in her system during the morning trop.