Lisa Byrd (Newark Police)
NEWARK, N.J. (FOX 5 NY) - Police in New Jersey arrested a school bus driver after she apparently passed out and crashed the vehicle into a tree on Wednesday.
A dozen special-needs children, between the ages of 5 and 13, who were on the bus were "shaken up" but not hurt, police said.
Emergency responders found the bus driver, Lisa Byrd, 57, unconscious and revived her with Narcan after seeing what appeared to be drugs and drug paraphernalia nearby, Newark Public Safety Director Anthony Ambrose said.
"This is a pathetic situation, putting these children at risk," Ambrose said. "The mayor is outraged."
Police took a blood sample from Byrd to be tested for drugs. She was treated at University Hospital.
In the meantime, police charged her with 12 counts of endangering the welfare of a child, driving while impaired, and possession of drug paraphernalia.
"Endangering the lives of Newark children is something we will not tolerate," Mayor Ras Baraka said. "We are grateful that none of the students were injured and that no other residents were harmed due to this incident."
The crash happened at 14th Avenue and Jones Street at about 1 p.m.