Police: Woman driving Westerly school bus was drunk
Westerly — A woman driving a bus belonging to Westerly Public Schools was arrested Tuesday night after police said they found her driving slowly in the middle of two lanes on state Route 3 in West Greenwich.
According to West Greenwich police Chief Richard Ramsay, Shelly Way, 52, of Westerly was charged with driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs with a blood alcohol level greater than 0.15 percent.
Ramsay said Coventry police alerted his department to the alleged intoxicated driver. According to Ramsay, Coventry police told his officers a Cumberland Farms employee had seen an intoxicated woman leave the store and get into a school bus.
That employee reported to police that the bus had turned left on Route 3.
Ramsay said officers from his department located the bus shortly thereafter traveling about 15 mph in the middle of two lanes. He said officers had their lights on signaling for her to pull over for about ¼ of a mile before she actually did.
According to Ramsay, police found Way in “poor condition” with slurred speech and bloodshot eyes. After she failed all three field sobriety tests, Ramsay said police brought her back to the station.
There, she agreed to a Breathalyzer test that showed her blood alcohol content was greater than 0.15 percent, according to Ramsay.
Prior to Way's arrest, a Westerly High School track coach had persuaded Way to pull over and unload his team, according to the Westerly Sun.
Westerly Superintendent of Schools Roy Seitsinger Jr. told the Westerly Sun Way resigned Wednesday.
Todd Grimes, Westerly's principal, praised coach Ryan Palmer for "his decisive decision-making" to ensure the safety of the 18 students, who were heading back to Westerly after a meet.
Police told NBC 10 they found several small bottles of alcohol by the driver's seat. Some were empty.
Way is due in Kent County Superior Court on Jan. 4.
Editor's Note: This version includes information from the Associated Press.
Stories that may interest you
A man who was wanted by police was found hiding under a pile of laundry Saturday evening inside a Jewett City home that he was not allowed to be in, police said.
Former NFA coach Anthony Facchini received a suspended sentence and five years of probation Wednesday in connection with allegations that he had sexual relations with two minor students.
The closing was caused by a motor vehicle collision resulting in a downed utility pole.
In his closing argument, prosecutor Thomas M. DeLillo recapped the testimony of witnesses he said had established beyond a reasonable doubt that Metese Hinds intentionally killed Raheeim General.