School Bus Driver Charged With DWI In Somers With Children Aboard Due In Court

The school bus driver in Northern Westchester who was charged with operating his bus while allegedly intoxicated and is under investigation for having inappropriate conduct with students was scheduled to appear in court.

Somers Intermediate School.
Somers Intermediate School. Photo Credit:

William Mendez, 61, of Somers, is under investigation for allegedly having inappropriate contact with students before his DWI arrest in Somers, when police say he had a blood-alcohol concentration of .22, nearly triple the legal limit.

He was scheduled to appear in court on Monday, Jan. 6 to make an appearance.

Police said that on Monday, Dec. 9 last year, Mendez, while employed by the Royal Coach Line, drove his bus with child passengers from Primose Elementary School and Somers Intermediate School while he was allegedly intoxicated, with a blood-alcohol concentration of .22 percent - nearly triple the legal limit.

Mendez has since been removed from Bus P following his arrest, and on Wednesday, Dec. 18, Mendez was charged with aggravated driving while intoxicated under Leandra’s Law, and driving while intoxicated by state police.

Somers Schools Superintendent Raymond Blanch said that the district is cooperating with New York State Police investigators and the Westchester County District Attorney’s Office as the investigation into Mendez’s action continues.

Parents in the school district have since voiced concerns over reports Mendez was involved in a minor school bus accident in October of last year.

It was later announced that the Westchester County Police are investigating the allegation of inappropriate contact with students by Mendez. No specific details have been revealed. 

The latest charges came after the district received reports from a parent of Mendez “acting strange." He later failed to immediately respond to radio correspondence and had to be transported back to the bus garage by a Royal Coach Lines manager, authorities said.

Mendez was met at the garage by an ambulance and New York State Police trooper. 

Blanch noted that, “while it is impossible to prevent all criminal acts against our district, our administrative team and the district’s safety and security consultant, Altaris, have already initiated an internal investigation into the incident to verify compliance with safety regulations and to determine what opportunities exist for improvement to our procedures.”

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