×
Menu
Search

Driver Arrested After Colliding With School Bus

Home
Blog
Criminal Defense
Driver Arrested After Colliding With School Bus

March 17, 2020

A scary accident from November involved one intoxicated bus driver and one busload of school children. The footage of the accident was caught on video. Jonathon C. Gates was driving his bus around 8:00 a.m. in the morning when he crashed on a rural road. There were ten children aboard the bus along with the driver and a second aid. In the video, you can hear children screaming as the bus careened off the road and into a ditch. 

While there were no reported injuries, police say that the driver appeared to be inebriated and charged him with DUI/controlled substance. 

This is actually a much easier case to defend than many of the others you will hear about in our blog. In this case, the driver was said to be driving under the influence of a controlled substance. It is likely the substance was prescribed by a doctor, and the driver did not necessarily realize the impact the medication would have on his ability to drive.

In Defense of the School Bus Driver

In a case like this, most people naturally are disgusted by anyone who would get behind the wheel of a vehicle carrying children. If this had happened in Indiana, the bus driver could have faced enhanced charges related to reckless endangerment. However, if he was legally prescribed the medication, the prosecution would still have a valid case against him, but it would be a mitigating as opposed to aggravating factor.

One aggravating factor, however, was the presence of children under the age of 16 in the vehicle over which the bus driver had control. In Indiana, you can face felony charges from DUI if there are children in the car, but only after you have had a prior DUI conviction. Penalties also escalate whenever someone is seriously injured or killed. A worst-case-scenario would look like six years plus any other charges for which the prosecution can get you.

However, the driver was not on alcohol at the time of the crash, and this complicates matters somewhat for the prosecution. If the driver recently began taking a medication that was ordered by his doctor, then the prosecution must be able to show that the medication impacted the driver in such a way as to cause the crash. 

In most of these situations, the driver is innocent of recklessly endangering the lives of others by doing something he knew could result in harm to others. The driver simply made a mistake and misjudged his limits.

Talk to a Fort Wayne, IN DUI Attorney

If you have been charged with DUI in Indiana, the attorneys at The Bellinger Law Office can prevent you from being overcharged for the crime. Talk to us today to find out more. 

Compassionate
Guidance for Families

profile

Meet Attorney

Robert H. Bellinger

Categories

Archives

Posts You May also Like

June 21, 2024

How Does Domestic Violence Impact a Child Custody Case?

When it comes to a child custody case, the presence of domestic violence can significantly alter the trajectory of the proceedings. At The Bellinger Law Office, we believe it is…

Continue Reading
June 12, 2024

What You Need to Know About Representing Yourself in Court 

The courtroom is a battleground where knowledge and strategy determine victory. At The Bellinger Law Office, we understand the allure of representing oneself in court, often seen as a pathway…

Continue Reading
June 07, 2024

Divorce and Real Estate: What Happens to the Family Home?

Divorce often brings about a slew of questions and concerns, particularly surrounding the division of real estate. Property ownership issues can complicate an already emotional process, making it essential to…

Continue Reading