FLAGLER COUNTY, Fla. — A Flagler County school bus driver is facing charges of criminal negligence of a child after he was arrested for driving a loaded school bus while intoxicated, deputies said.
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Deputies say Mark McNeill of Ormond Beach was four times over the legal limit when he was arrested on Wednesday.
Investigators said another bus employee told a supervisor that McNeill “smelled like alcohol” when he reported for work that afternoon.
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Deputies said McNeil left later on a bus assigned to a different driver and proceeded to pick up students from Buddy Taylor Middle School for his normal afternoon route.
According to the sheriff’s office, McNeill did not respond to repeated requests from other transportation workers over the radio.
A supervisor was able to catch up with McNeill in the Karas Trail and Karat Path area.
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The supervisor told deputies that McNeil then got off the bus and fell to the ground, saying he was having trouble breathing.
McNeil was taken to a nearby hospital before deputies arrived.
According to a report, when deputies arrived at the hospital, McNeill attempted to flee before he was eventually caught in the parking lot.
See video of the arrest below:
Deputies arrested McNeill for impaired driving with passengers under the age of 18, resisting an officer without violence, and child neglect.
Flagler Sheriff Rick Staly praised the other bus employee for reporting McNeill to supervisors.
“Fortunately, no one was harmed as a result of his actions. I commend the employee who reported this to school officials,” Staly said.
Deputies said the Florida Highway Patrol cited McNeil for failing to obey a stop sign after he was involved in an accident while on the same bus route earlier in the week.
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Flagler County Schools said in a statement that McNeil was placed on paid administrative leave while they investigate.
“Flagler Schools recognizes that parents put the safety of their children in our hands every day. It’s a responsibility we don’t take lightly. We will thoroughly investigate these serious allegations and charges,” the district said.
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