Alleged Drug-Impaired Bus Driver Crashes on Way to Oregon School

When you put your kids on the school bus you probably hope the bus driver is — well good at their job.

You know? Not on drugs while they’re responsible for your most prized possession.

An Oregon school bus driver is currently facing charges for driving under the influence of a controlled substance after he crashed into a ditch with 10 students on board.

Actually, one of the first 911 calls reporting the Wednesday morning crash came from a Forest Grove School District student, one of 10 between the ages of 10 and 16 on the bus.

Deputies arrested the bus driver, 20-year-old Jonathan Gates, saying he looked impaired on scene.

He was cited for driving under the influence of intoxicants then released. Luckily, none of the students were injured when the bus went off the road.

Gates is employed by the Mid-Columbia Bus Company. A spokesperson says he has been suspended and will receive a mandatory drug test while the crash is under investigation.

“In my time here, I’ve never seen something like this before,” said David Warner, a school district spokesperson. “Obviously, the safety of our students is top priority for our district, and we’re very grateful none of them were injured. That’s first and foremost the most important thing.”

Warner says the district is following protocol and waiting for the Washington County Sheriff’s Department to finish the investigation before it takes any further action.

“After we have the investigation, we’ll talk with the administration and see what the procedures were and make sure this doesn’t happen again,” he said.

Deputies say charges are pending the results of the drug test.


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