According to KGW8, the boy told a 911 operator: “Umm yes hello my mom isn’t talking because she doesn’t speak English but we just got off the bus, me and my friend. And on bus 8 there’s a bus driver, Catherine, she was drunk.”
“She passed three red lights and she got on the side road by the 76. And there’s still kids on there,” the boy told the operator.
After driver Catherine Maccarone passed three red lights, the boy tried to get off the bus with his friend and the friend’s sister, but the driver wouldn’t let them, the New York Post reported.
Maccarone had dropped off 90 students in two runs that day, according to police.
The 911 operator wanted to confirm how the boy knew Maccarone was drunk.
“Her eyes, you could tell she was drunk. Her breath sort of smelled like alcohol,” the 10-year-old said, according to Fox News.
The 48-year-old bus driver was pulled over and arrested after dropping the students off. There were no students on the bus at the time of the arrest, USA Today reported.
She was given a breathalyzer test that revealed a blood-alcohol level of 0.9, according to the Fox News.
Officers who arrested her reported that there was “an obvious odor of intoxicants coming,” according to a Facebook post by Longview Police Department.
Maccarone said she was going through a divorce and took medication for sleep and anxiety, the Post reported.
When officers asked her for the name of the medication she reportedly said, “Oh, you know.”
Maccarone was charged with DUI and two counts of reckless endangerment, though additional charges may be brought as the investigation is ongoing.
Longview Public Schools issued a statement announcing that the bus driver was on administrative leave.
“We are thankful all our students arrived home safely,” Superintendent Dan Zorn said, according to Fox News.
“To help ensure this situation never happens again we implemented an improved process for screening drivers prior to driving their routes each day. The safety and security of our students and staff is a top priority,” he told USA Today in a statement.
Authorities are working closely with the school during the investigation.