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Bus Driver DWI Charge Prompts Somers School District Review Of Transportation Policies

A bus driver busted for alleged impaired driving with students in Somers has led to a review of policies by the school district.
A bus driver busted for alleged impaired driving with students in Somers has led to a review of policies by the school district. Photo Credit: somersschools.org

The drunk driving charge against a school bus driver in Northern Westchester has led to the Somers Central School District reviewing its transportation policies amid a cacophony of angry cry from concerned members of the community.

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, in an incident last month.

Police said that on Monday, Dec. 9, 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 his position, but at the behest of parents and members of the community, the Somers School District is reviewing its transportation policies, the Board of Education announced.

Dozens showed up to a Board of Education meeting this week at Somers Middle School, where the board announced that officials would be reviewing the policies, including a more fluid method of communicating with parents, who were left in the dark on the day of Mendez’s DWI arrest.

A transportation safety task force is being established by the district to further review their options, as the investigation into Mendez and his actions continue.

“Although we have identified numerous opportunities for improvement, we continue to remain confident that the readiness and willingness of district personnel to address issues of safety, security and emergency management,” the Altaris Consulting Group concluded. “We look forward to working with the district and the soon to be formed Transportation Safety Task Force on review and implementation of accepted improvement opportunities.”

This continues to be a developing story. Check Daily Voice for updates.

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