ATTENTION: CBS covered this story and interviewed two of the kids on the bus HERE:
ALFRED, N.Y. (WIVB) – She was drunk behind the wheel with more than three dozen kids aboard her school bus. Now she’s going to spend a lot of weekends in jail.
One student on the video screamed, “Put on the brake!”
This is surveillance video of the dangerous school bus ride last May in the Alfred-Almond school district in Allegany County. 55-year-old Martha Thompson had a blood alcohol content of .15. At the time, she thought the children were overreacting.
In the video, you can hear Thompson say, “Will you guys stop?”
To which a student replies, “Well, you’re not okay and I know it.”
The bus hit high speeds, ran over a mailbox, and started rolling backwards downhill.
A student shouts, “Turn the bus off!” “No,” says Thompson. “You’re backing into the freaking ditch, you’re making the little kids cry…Stop!” screams another student.
Finally, the children opened the emergency door in the back of the bus to get out, despite Thompson pleading against it.
Thompson hollers, “You can’t get off the bus!”
Now, she’ll spend the next 12 weekends in jail on her guilty plea to 37 counts of child endangerment and driving while intoxicated.
Allegany County Assistant District Attorney Michael Finn said, “I think this was a just and appropriate outcome in this case. A potential tragedy was averted by the grace of God, and thankfully none of the passengers, nor Mrs. Thompson, was injured as a result of this sequence of events.”
Defense attorney Thomas Trbovich, “She made a very bad judgment.”
Her attorney blames her behavior on a little alcohol having a bad reaction with Thompson’s medication.
“She’s embarrassed. She’s very sorry to the children. She never, ever would intentionally put any of those children, especially her own in any type of risk and now she’s getting the help that she needs,” said Trbovich.
In addition to 12 weekends in jail, Martha Thompson will be on six months of home electronic monitoring, five years probation and mandatory alcohol counseling.