JESUP – A Jesup school bus driver who was taken out of his bus and loaded into an ambulance last month has been arrested.
James Dale Stockwell, 62, of Jesup, turned himself in to the Buchanan County Sheriff’s Office on Tuesday and was arrested for first-offense operating while intoxicated and 16 counts of child endangerment, both misdemeanors.
He was also cited for unsafe backing.
A blood test determined Stockwell had a blood alcohol level of .184, according to court records.
The charges stem from a Sept. 9 incident where students on his bus noticed he was having difficulty driving during their trip home and contacted parents when they exited at their stop on Benson Shady Grove Avenue south of Jesup.
“Some students said the driver swerved, hit a mailbox, back(ed) down a long stretch of paved roadway and seemed drunk. Some of the kids were reportedly scared and crying at times,” the investigating deputy wrote in charges sent to the court.
Students on the bus ranged from ages 4 to 13, records state.
Concerned for the safety of the children and the wellbeing of the bus driver, one parent kept the bus at a bus stop until sheriff’s deputies and medics arrived.
Stockwell showed signs of impairment during a field sobriety test and was transported to MercyOne Waterloo Medical Center, court records state. A possible medical episode was ruled out, and at the conclusion of the investigation, criminal charges were filed, deputies said.