UPDATE: 'Scariest school bus ride ever' after DUI arrest

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UPDATE 3/28/17 @ 5:40 p.m.
LOGAN, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- One Logan County mother says her son experienced a frightening bus ride Monday morning, thanks to a school bus driver who is accused of driving drunk.

As we reported Monday, Mark Kraus was arrested after his morning route.

"He could have wrecked," said mother Kristy Vance. "He could have hurt somebody."

Two of Vance's kids rode Bus 13-4 Monday morning, with Kraus behind the wheel.

Troopers say he was driving drunk. Vance said her son, a high school senior, knew it right away.

"He could smell alcohol," she added. "He said he was all over the road. He said it was the scariest bus ride to the school he ever had."

Vance said her family has ridden on Kraus's bus for seven to 10 years. They were happy with him for most of it. But the last few years, she says things started getting out of control with fights, bullying and Kraus cussing at the kids.

Kraus told troopers he had six beers Sunday night, followed by five hours of sleep.

"I think he probably had more because for the kids to smell it the next day and him to be all over the road, something just wasn't right with that," Vance said.

"This ain't a surprise. It really is not," added Brittney Blankenship.

Blankenship's three girls were also on the bus Monday, ages 10, 6 and 5.

She said they've also had similar problems this year.

She hopes Kraus is fired.

"I was angry. I was very, very angry. I was ready to go to the school and actually pick my kids up," she added.

Blankenship would like to see daily drug and alcohol testing for drivers.

Vance would like to see stiffer charges for Kraus, like child endangerment.

"That really scares you and it makes you want to start driving your kids back and forth to school every day because you don't trust them no more," Vance said.

Interim Superintendent Patricia Lucas returned our calls Tuesday evening, saying she is unaware of any complaints against Kraus. She also could not say how long he had been an employee with the school system.



UPDATE 3/27/17 @ 3:40 p.m.
LOGAN COUNTY, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- A Logan County Schools bus driver arrested on the job Monday morning was arraigned later that day on DUI charges.

Mark E. Kraus, 54, of Stollings, West Virginia, is charged with DUI with minors involved, court records show.

West Virginia State Police troopers say Kraus had driven students ranging from pre-K to 12th grades to their respective schools before he was arrested. Troopers say Kraus provided two breathalyzer samples, yielding a .111 level on one and .107 on the other. They say he failed a horizontal vision test.

Kraus told troopers he had drunk about six beers on Sunday night, prior to sleeping about five hours before reporting to pick kids up for school. State Police say they were contacted by the Logan County Board of Education Monday morning about a driver who was possibly impaired.

More charges against Kraus are possible, troopers say.

Kraus was taken to the South Central Regional Jail. His bond is set at $75,000.



ORIGINAL STORY 3/27/17 @ 11:23 p.m.
LOGAN COUNTY, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- A school bus driver was arrested on the job Monday morning in Logan County.

State Police say they were contacted by the Logan County Board of Education Monday morning about a driver who was possibly impaired.

The bus driver was arrested a short time later by troopers.

Interim Superintendent Patricia Lucas confirms the bus driver had made morning runs prior to the arrest.

Lucas tells WSAZ her office has "taken the steps to ensure safety of our students because that is our number one priority."

As for specifics about the driver, the interim superintendent says they cannot comment on personnel issues.

There is no word right now if the bus driver was allegedly under the influence of alcohol or if it was drugs.

Troopers tell WSAZ the investigation is in the early stages.

Keep checking WSAZ Mobile and WSAZ.com for the latest information.



 
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