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School bus driver arrested; tested positive for marijuana

Published: May. 22, 2008 at 9:16 PM EDT|Updated: Jun. 17, 2008 at 12:09 PM EDT
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Tammy Capps
Tammy Capps

By Lindsay English

LOUISVILLE (WAVE) -- The bus driver behind the wheel during an accident last week in Bullitt County is jail. The results of a drug test taken right after the accident are back and now Tammy Capps is out of a job and facing criminal charges. WAVE 3's Lindsay English reports the latest on the investigation.

On Monday, May 12th, a Bullitt County Schools bus carrying at least 50 Lebanon Junction Elementary School students went off into a ditch. 37 year old Tammy Capps was driving.

"All bus drivers who are involved in any kind of accident is tested afterwards to determine if there is any alcohol or narcotics present in their system, any controlled substance," says Bullitt County Board of Education attorney Eric Farris.

Capps was tested immediately following the accident. The results were returned Wednesday.

"There was a positive finding of marijuana in the driver's system," says Farris.

The presence of pot in her system meant that by the district's zero-tolerance policy, she had to be fired. Then Lebanon Junction Police got involved.

"We have zero tolerance for any type of operating impaired, anything that impairs your driving ability that includes marijuana," says Lebanon Junction Police Chief Darrell Paul.

Capps was arrested Thursday afternoon. WAVE 3 was there as she was taken into the Bullitt County Detention Center facing 50 counts of wanton endangerment - one charge for each child on the bus. Capps also faces one count of driving under the influence of marijuana.

"I was shocked she was arrested," said Melissa Karr, whose son Jacob was on the bus the day of the accident. "She was always doing nice things for them -- giving them treats, giving them rewards. If she was on drugs, I don't think she was that particular day, the day of the accident."

Karr says she believes Capps' firing was warranted, but she is not as sure about the criminal charges.

"I guess that's what concerns me, proving she was under the influence that day," Karr says.

Bus drivers for the Bullitt County Public Schools are subject to routine and random drug tests throughout the year. Capps was randomly tested five different times in the past three years and passed each one, including a test in March 2008.

Capps is being held in the Bullitt County Detention Center and is scheduled to appear in court Friday.

Online Reporter: Lindsay English

Online Producer: Charles Gazaway