DETROIT (WWJ) – Police say a 53-year-old DDOT bus driver had a blood alcohol level more than twice the legal limit when he crashed his bus with passengers aboard, including a 3-year-old child.
The accident happened just before 11 p.m. Tuesday as the DDOT bus was traveling eastbound on East Warren Avenue near Three Mile Drive. Police say the driver struck a parked vehicle and failed to stop, proceeding eastbound on East Warren.
“At East Warren and Burns, a father and his 3-year-old son were able to exit off the bus and then he called 911, indicating that the bus driver appeared to be intoxicated,” Detroit Police Sgt. Eren Stephens said.
Wayne State Police caught up with the bus near East Warren and Woodward Avenue and initiated a traffic stop.
“The DDOT supervisor was at the scene also, and they boarded the bus and the supervisor relieved the bus driver of his duties,” Stephens said.
Police say the driver submitted to a preliminary breath test on the scene, resulting in a reading of over .20 percent. The legal limit for driving in Michigan is .08 percent.
The driver, who was not identified, was arrested for operating while impaired.
“Right now, he’s at our detention center where he’s being housed,” Stephens said. “We’ll submit the warrant to the Wayne County Prosecutor for review.”
Stephens said the driver never should have been behind the wheel, but it’s fortunate no one was injured.
“This individual was really, really intoxicated,” she said. “By him being in the position where he had individuals on his bus, they could have been hurt. So I’m just glad that the father was able to get off the bus with his son and notified police so that we could place this individual in custody.”
A statement from DDOT Director Dan Dirks said the driver was immediately suspended without pay pending further investigation. He said it’s possible the driver could lose his job.
“We are deeply concerned over the alleged actions of one of our drivers last night. The safety of our passengers and the public is our highest priority,” the statement read. “[The driver’s] actions should in no way diminish the work of the dedicated DDOT drivers who come to work every day to serve the public.”