'You Could Tell She Was Drunk': Boy Calls 911 On His School Bus Driver

The fifth grader told the 911 dispatcher his bus driver, Catherine Maccarone, "passed three red lights" before dropping him off.

By M.L. Nestel
Digital Original
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A quick-thinking fifth-grade boy dialed 911 to report his school bus driver, who he claimed reeked of alcohol and blew through three red lights.

Longview, Washington police officers, following the young tipster's phone call, arrested Catherine Maccarone, 48, for allegedly being intoxicated while driving a school bus on Sept. 12, according to Portland NBC affiliate KGW8.

After being dropped off from the bus, the student told the 911 dispatcher, “There’s a driver, Catherine, she was drunk.”

He went on to claim that the driver, believed to be Maccarone, blew three red lights during the drive to the student’s home. 

“Like, passed three red lights and got on the side road by the 76 and there's still kids on there," he said, according to the recording obtained by the station.

The student alerted the dispatcher to frightening details of the driver's alleged tipsy state while behind the wheel of the school bus that day. 

He recalled seeing from “her eyes ... you could tell she was drunk.”

What's more, the bus driver’s “breath sort of smelled like alcohol,” the boy is heard explaining to the dispatcher in the recording, obtained by the station.  

The boy claimed the bus driver swore at the children and that multiple kids were crying during the trip.

Maccarone was then pulled over by responding police. By then, the station reported, her bus had completed two trips, hauling around 90 high school and grade school students.

Once detained, Maccarone allegedly submitted to a Breathalyzer test, which registered more than .09, the station reported. 

Maccarone reportedly denied driving under the influence, although police say she did admit to taking prescription medicine and told them she was upset about her divorce.

Maccarone was placed on administrative leave by the school district, pending the completion of an internal investigation, according to a statement obtained by NBC News late last week.

The district stressed that the alleged drunk bus driver "incident that occurred is not indicative of the great work Longview Public School drivers do every day."

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