EAST ORANGE, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — Police say a school bus driver was drunk and driving with a suspended license when he hit several cars, two traffic poles and a fire hydrant during a 20-minute span Friday morning.
Wayne Carmichael, 51, of Paterson, has been charged with endangering the welfare of a child and numerous summonses including reckless driving, driving under the influence and driving while suspended.
Police say Carmichael suffered an undisclosed minor injury, but a 9-year-old student and a bus aide also on board were not hurt.
Carmichael, a driver for A-1 Elegant Tours, hit five occupied cars, at least two traffic poles and one fire hydrant between 8:10 a.m. to 8:30 a.m., police said.
The first accident occurred at Park and North Arlington Avenue, the second and third at William Street and North Oraton Parkway, the fourth at Springdale and Glenwood Avenues, and the fifth one at Dodd Street and Thomas Boulevard in the City of Orange Township. There was only report of one minor injury.
“Very scary,” said East Orange resident Brenda Miller. “What they need to do is start making sure they have licenses, background checks, and have somebody watching them – whoever – on the bus, riding along. Attendants, counselors when they get back from the job.”
Investigators say the bus aide told them she noticed the driver nodding off and attempted to wake him up, CBS2’s Meg Baker reported.
“That makes me feel scary. Seven children of my own. That’s not right, not good,” said East Orange resident April Bennett.
Carmichael is in custody and is due in court next Wednesday. The bus company, A-1 Elegant Tours, was banned in Paterson for this school year due to performance and qualification issues.