A woman has been indicted for allegedly being intoxicated with a blood-alcohol content of more than three times the legal limit while driving a group of campers, and leaving the scene of two crashes on Long Island.
The Suffolk County District Attorney's Office reported on Tuesday, Aug. 3, that Diane Juergens, age 61, of Ridge, has been indicted on:
- Multiple counts of driving while intoxicated,
- 20 counts of aggravated driving while intoxicated (Leandra's Law),
- 10 counts of endangering the welfare of a child,
- Two counts of leaving the scene of an accident with property damage.
The district attorney's office said at about 4:30 p.m. on Tuesday, July 13, Juergens arrived at Baiting Hollow Scout Camp in Calverton in a full-sized school bus.
The DA's office said 10 children and one teenage camp counselor boarded the bus. Juergens then allegedly pulled onto Sound Avenue, and the counselor alerted her that she failed to stop at a second location to pick up more campers.
The district attorney's office said Juergens tried to make a U-turn and hit a stone pillar, which caused damage. She then went east on Sound Avenue and allegedly struck a car that was in the eastbound lane, damaging the vehicle.
Juergens was allegedly instructed by camp officials to remain at the location, but the district attorney's office said she continued driving east until she arrived at the original location where she had picked up the campers.
The campers and the counselor were not injured, and they were evacuated from the bus.
The DA's office said Juergens was arrested by the Riverhead Town Police Department, and a chemical blood test revealed she had a blood alcohol content of .30%.
She was arraigned on Tuesday, Aug. 3. She is due back in court on Sept. 15.
“This defendant chose to get behind the wheel of that bus and endanger the lives of each and every one of the children on board,” District Attorney Timothy Sini said. “Those of us who are parents or grandparents entrust people every day with our children – whether it’s at school, at camp, at church – and bus drivers are among those with whom we place the greatest amount of trust. This defendant violated that trust."
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