NJ School Bus Driver Charged With DWI After Crash

The 53-year-old school bus driver crashed into a tree in East Brunswick

Tuesday, Nov 15, 2011  |  Updated 6:35 AM EDT
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NJ School Bus Driver Charged With DWI

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A New Jersey school bus driver was arrested after crashing into a tree in East Brunswick Monday, accused of driving while intoxicated.

Police say 53-year-old Lori Ann Aceta was driving an empty school bus on Church Lane at about 1:45 p.m. when she went off the road and crashed.

Aceta claimed she'd been trying to pick something up off the ground, police said.

"It's very frightening," said Holly Glover, a nearby parent of a 15-year-old girl who takes a bus to school every morning. "You put your kids on the bus in the morning and you say goodbye to them, and you think they're in safe hands. So when you hear something like this, it's just very frightening."

Aceta was taken to a local hospital with non-life threatening injuries, then charged with driving while intoxicated.

Police said Aceta was driving a bus from the Phoenix Bus Company in Monroe, but it wasn't clear what school she had been driving students to and from. 

The accident was particularly alarming after last week's incident in Westampton, N.J., involving another drunk school bus driver. That time, students were on the bus texting their parents, with one writing, "Mommy, I think our bus driver is drunk... She's not driving right."

No one was hurt in that accident, but 17-year-old Nicole Hardenbrook told NBC New York there have been countless problems with school bus drivers.

"It makes me not want to take the bus," said Hardenbrook. "Bus drivers are pretty reckless -- driving over curbs when they're making tight turns. I see them all the time. They drive fast, they don't stop."

Glover wondered if bus companies were vetting employees properly.

"Are they doing the background checks?," she asked. "Is it thorough enough? Who are they employing? It's very scary."

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