Sheriff: Driver charged with DWI-drugs after bus carrying 9 students swerves into traffic

Crime

SENECA NATION, N.Y. (WIVB) — A school bus driver from Silver Creek is facing a number of charges after authorities say she drove under the influence of drugs.

On Tuesday, deputies with the Erie County Sheriff’s Office responded to Route 438 and Woodchuck Rd. on the Seneca Nation territory.

According to the Sheriff’s Office, Seneca Nation Marshals stopped the bus after they say it swerved into oncoming traffic. At the time, nine secondary-level Gowanda students were on the bus, which was headed to the Lakeshore BOCES facility. No students were injured.

While a Marshal was speaking with the driver, who was identified as Marianne Clayton, 63, she showed signs of impairment, authorities say.

The Sheriff’s Office says Clayton subsequently failed field sobriety tests administered by a deputy. She was charged with the following crimes:

  • Three counts of aggravated DWI with a child in the vehicle
  • One count of DWI-drugs
  • Seven counts of endangering the welfare of a child

Following her arrest, Clayton was released to a sober third party. Gowanda’s school resource officer helped with arranging transportation for the students.

The Gowanda Central School District said in a statement that the incident did not involve a district employee or bus.

“The safety and security of our students is our No. 1 priority,” the district said in a statement. “We have been in contact with the local authorities and the WNY Bus Company to investigate how this incident took place.

“Our goal is to learn from this and ensure we do everything in our power as a district to provide a safe learning environment for our students while in our care. The administration is reaching out to families and anyone needing support may contact their child’s school main office at (716) 532-3325, ext. 5003 (middle school) or ext. 6004 (high school).”

Evan Anstey is a digital content producer who has been part of the News 4 team since 2015. See more of his work here and follow him on Twitter.

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