SHELTON, Conn. (CBSNewYork) — He was entrusted to keep kids safe, but now a school bus driver is facing charges for allegedly falling asleep at the wheel.
Photos taken by a student have gone viral on social media, and appear to show the 55-year-old driver enjoying a snooze on the way to school.
As CBS2’s Lou Young reported, Paul Pixely did his best to hide behind his lawyer in court, avoiding the TV camera as best he could.
The school bus driver is facing charges of reckless endangerment and 30 counts of endangering the welfare of a child for falling asleep behind the wheel.
He didn’t just doze off, according to the arrest warrant he fell asleep during his shift nine times and was spotted by supervisors sleeping behind the wheel as students boarded, and by students while the bus was moving. They repeatedly woke hip, and he later denied it when confronted.
Students on the bus from Shelton took the pictures and sent them home to their parents during the ride. Drivers reported the bus weaving on the road.
All of this happened on December 16, but Pixley wasn’t arrested until Monday.
Some think that’s odd.
“It shouldn’t take 10 minutes to arrest, not 10 days,” Stephanie Murphy said.
CBS2 questioned police about the delay, and they admitted reluctantly that Pixley was not tested for drugs or booze when they pulled him off the bus,
“Once we were called on December 16, the determination was that his license was seized, and he shouldn’t be driving, in the opinion of the officer,” Lt. Robert Kozlowsky, Shelton Police Department, said, “The determination was made by officers on the scene that he shouldn’t drive a vehicle.”
Pixey later admitted to detectives. He’s a recovering drug addict who takes methadone.
The bus company insisted though, there were no warning signs.
“All his records, background drug tests, he was right in line with where he should be. When he was stopped, police officers explained to us that they believed it was a medical issue,” Greg Walter, Landmark Transportation said.
Pixey’s attorney offered no suggestion as to what his defense might be. He’s being held on $75,000 bail.