Long Island News
Driver in Syosset mini-bus crash charged with DWI
SYOSSET, New York (WABC) -- The mini-school bus driver who crashed into a home on Long Island Wednesday has been charged with driving while intoxicated.
The bus, coming from St. Edwards the Confessor School, crashed into the house Jackson Avenue in Syosset just after 3 p.m.
Police say 66-year-old Frederick Flowers is now charged with aggravated driving while intoxicated under Leandra's Law.
He was also charged with driving while intoxicated while operating a school bus with student passengers, second-degree reckless endangerment, endangering the welfare of a child and driving while intoxicated.
The Massapequa Park resident is still being treated at Nassau University Medical Center in East Meadow for non-life threatening injuries.
"He's devastated. He cares so much about the children and just glad none of them was hurt," said defense attorney, Thomas Spreer.
Police say they charged Flowers with dwi because police believed him to be drunk, but they have not received blood alcohol data yet.
"At this point I'm still investigating and well see what we got," adds Spreer.
A spokesman had no knowledge if Flowers was slirring his speech or if had alcohol on breath, but said police determined in talking to him that he was drunk
"Through officer observation he determined he may have been drinking and his blood was taken at the hospital," said Det. Vincent Garcia.
None of the five students on the bus was injured, and nobody was home at the time of the accident. The kids ranged in age from 5 to 8.
The bus company, First Student, told Eyewitness News that Flowers has been one of their drivers since March of 2009, has a clean driving record and passed all pre-employment screenings, which include drug and alcohol testing, as well as a complete background check.
"We conduct random drug and alcohol screenings, as well as DMV checks, throughout each driver's tenure," Director of Media Relations Maureen Richmond said in an email. "We are conducting a full internal investigation and assisting authorities with theirs. The driver is suspended pending the outcome of the investigation. The safety and security of our students is our core value, and a responsibility we take very seriously."
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