Alleged Drunk Driver Crashes School Bus on Field Trip

He's the third Long Island school bus driver to be arrested on DWI charges this month

A Long Island school bus driver was arrested on a charge of driving while intoxicated after he crashed a bus filled with seventh-graders during a field trip Monday morning, police said.

He's the third Long Island school bus driver to be arrested on DWI charges this month.

Police said James Sommer, 47, was driving a bus carrying 29 Plainedge Middle School seventh-graders and a teacher to the DNA Learning Center at the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory. He was trying to park the bus when he backed into a tree limb.

A 12-year-old girl was taken to Huntington Hospital with minor injuries.

Sommer, of Massapequa, was charged with aggravated driving while intoxicated with a child passenger 15 years or younger (Leandra's Law), driving while intoxicated while operating a school bus with students on board, and endangering the welfare of a child.

Sommer was being held overnight at the Second Precinct in Suffolk County for his arraignment Tuesday at First District Court in Central Islip. It's not clear if he has an attorney. 

Calls to the school were not answered. 

Another school bus driver was arrested Oct. 11 when he crashed an empty school bus near 60 of the Long Island Expressway in Ronkonkoma. Police found an open bottle of vodka on the bus. 

On Oct. 4, a school bus driver crashed into a home just after leaving a Catholic elementary school with five children on board. He was arrested the next day on several charges. 

Contact Us