A bus driver in Shelton, Connecticut, has been arrested for allegedly falling asleep at the wheel while driving with children, and one concerned woman is speaking out about what her daughter went through on the bus before his arrest.
Shelton police received calls about a bus driver falling asleep at the wheel and swerving all over the road at approximately 3:40 p.m. on Dec. 16.
Officers did not see children on the bus when they pulled over Paul Pixley, of Derby, on Nicholas Avenue by Earl Street. An assistant manager of Landmark Transportation came to the scene to drive the bus back, police said.
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It was later determined that Pixley had driven the bus with 30 children on the same day he was pulled over, according to Shelton police. The 55-year-old appeared to fall asleep several times, which resulted in children getting off at earlier bus stops.
Vienna DiPiave said her daughter was on the bus and called her during the ordeal.
“She was terrified. She was absolutely hysterical. She was so scared, I couldn’t understand a word that she was saying to me when she called,” DiPiave said.
Pixley was charged with 30 counts of risk of injury to a minor, breach of peace, reckless endangerment and reckless driving. His bond was set at $75,000. It wasn't immediately known if he has an attorney.
While DiPiave was glad the driver was taken out from behind the wheel, she now has concerns there may be other drivers out there putting children in danger.
“As a parent, you put your child in the safety of somebody every day that they get on that bus,” she said.
Shelton Schools Superintendent Chris Clouet said in a statement:
"The Shelton Police Department working closely with administration from the Shelton Public School System has arrested Landmark bus driver Paul Pixley on multiple counts of breach of peace, reckless endangerment, reckless driving, and risk of injury. The Board of Education is grateful to the Police Department for their focused investigation that is bringing a resolution to the incident that endangered our students' safety. The School System will insist that Landmark Transportation adhere to established security measures to ensure our transportation provider's procedures observe strict driver guidelines. Be assured that this driver will never drive for our school system ever again."