Update: Norwich school bus driver accused of driving under the influence
NORWICH – The school bus driver facing several charges after police say he was driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol was in court on Monday, Feb. 6.
The narrative of one of the arresting officers, Carl Bourne, explained that information from the reporting witness allowed them to locate the driver’s short bus with the First Student Bus Company, decal number 111376, after it was seen striking the mirror of a black SUV-type of vehicle and nearly colliding with several others.
Officer Bourne’s investigation revealed a black Ford Explorer with damage to its driver-side mirror on the route the bus had reportedly traveled. After ascertaining that the 111376 decal number on the bus in question was not a Connecticut School Bus Registration, Norwich dispatch contacted the First Student Bus Company, who used the information to identify the bus operator and have them pull over at a nearby Chucky’s Mobile.
Upon reaching the short bus, the driver, Edwin Gonzalez, 30, of Willimantic, stepped out to meet the officers. During the subsequent interview, Gonzalez stated that he may have hit a snow bank, but could not recall hitting a parked vehicle. He also stated that he was not entirely sure where exactly he had been operating, as he was unfamiliar with the streets in Norwich.
Officer Bourne then contacted the Location Manager at the First Student Bus Company, who after stating GPS monitoring allowed her to track the entire bus route, relayed the bus’ travel, which included driving the wrong way down a one-way street. Gonzalez stated he was not aware of the one-way street, despite it being clearly marked with “Do Not Enter” signs on both sides of the road.
Officer Bourne went on to say that while he couldn’t detect the odor of any alcoholic beverage on Gonzalez, his eyelids were heavy and droopy. However, when Gonzalez agreed to submit to a series of Standardized Field Sobriety Tests, conducted in the flat pavement area of the Chucky’s parking lot with no obstructions, he did not pass.
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