A southern New Jersey school bus driver who admitted driving drunk with 25 students on board has been sentenced to three years in state prison.
Carole Crockett, 48, pleaded guilty last October to Driving Under the Influence and Endangering the Welfare of a Child. She was sentenced on Friday.
On November 8, 2011, Crockett was intoxicated while driving 25 students to their homes from Westampton Middle School at the end of the school day.
Police say the students riding the bus alerted their parents through phone calls and text messages that their driver was swerving and falling asleep behind the wheel. The students also claimed Crockett almost struck a parked car as well as a jogger and that she vomited into her handbag.
Breaking news and the stories that matter to your neighborhood.
"People were yelling, I don't want to die today," said Dominic Rodrigues, 12, who was on the bus.
He sent a message to his mother that read, "Mommy, I think our bus driver is drunk. She's not driving right."
The parents alerted Westampton Middle School who immediately called police. Officers searched the area and found the bus at Holly Hills Elementary School.
They say Crockett was attempting to pick up more students when the school principal removed her from the bus. Police arrested her at the school.
"She submitted to a breath test, they were .25, which is over 5 times the legal limit because she was driving a commercial vehicle," said Sgt. Stephen Ent, from the Westampton Police Department.
Crockett was fired from Wills Bus Service, which provides transportation for local students, according to the school district.