Willimantic school bus driver charged with DUI after crash - WFSB 3 Connecticut

Willimantic school bus driver charged with DUI after crash

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Catherine Caron Catherine Caron

Parents in Willimantic were shocked to learn that a school bus driver responsible for a serious bus crash two months ago that injured four students is being charged with driving under the influence.

Catherine Caron, 52, was arrested on Thursday and charged with driving under the influence after the crash that happened at 7:30 a.m. on Sept. 10.

Luis Guzman was waiting to put his son on a school bus on Sept. 10 when the bus being driven by Caron slammed into a utility pole on Quarry Road.

Following a two month investigation, Willimantic police charged Caron with driving under the influence, possession of a controlled substance and risk of injury.

"The morning of the accident when we did a urinalysis at Windham Hospital it came back via the warrant that she was under the influence. I can't give you the substance but she was under the influence,” said Willimantic Corporal Stan Parizo.

According to the transportation company EASTCONN, Caron was immediately suspended while there was an investigation.

“Clearly, this was a deeply regrettable, concerning event. Following the accident, EASTCONN conducted an internal investigation, and the driver was dismissed,” said a statement released by the company.

The crash occurred in a school zone where speed restrictions are in place, and another eyewitness to the crash called it scare “especially when children are involved,” said Brian Hammett.

Caron posted bond and her license has been suspended, and she has to go to the Department of Motor Vehicles for a hearing to get it reinstated.

“All of EASTCONN's drivers are fingerprinted, and a background check is conducted by the state police and the FBI. EASTCONN provides additional, mandatory trainings throughout the year,” the transit company said in a statement.

"This message is telling you the people who are in care and control of our children need to be more responsible,” Parizo added.

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