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Bus driver arrested, charged with DWI while operating school bus with children on it

Two males posing as utility workers in Erie County
Posted at 8:59 AM, Jun 02, 2021
and last updated 2021-06-02 13:05:26-04

CATTARAUGUS RESERVATION, N.Y. (WKBW) — The Erie County Sheriff's Office has arrested and charged a school bus driver with DWI for allegedly driving the bus high with students on board.

Deputies said they pulled over 63-year-old Marianne Clayton Tuesday after a Seneca Nation of Indians Marshal saw the bus she was driving swerve into oncoming traffic near NY Route 438 and Woodchuck Road.

The sheriff's office says Clayton failed field sobriety tests and was found to be impaired by drugs.

At the time of the incident, nine Gowanda Central School students were on the bus and were heading to the Lakeshore BOCES.

The Gowanda School Resource Officer helped notify their parents and guardians and arranged transportation for the children.

Clayton was arrested and charged with three felony counts of aggravated DWI with a child in the vehicle, a misdemeanor count of DWI-Drugs, and seven counts of endangering the welfare of a child, and was released to a sober third party.

The school district released the following statement Wednesday:

Gowanda Central School District was notified Tuesday, June 1, 2021, that a contracted bus driver transporting some of our secondary-level students to out-of-district programs was pulled over by local law enforcement for erratic driving. All students on board were safe and provided alternative transportation.

The safety and security of our students is our No. 1 priority. We have been in contact with the local authorities and the WNY Bus Company to investigate how this incident took place.

Our goal is to learn from this and ensure we do everything in our power as a district to provide a safe learning environment for our students while in our care. The administration is reaching out to families and anyone needing support may contact their child’s school main office at (716) 532-3325, ext. 5003 (middle school) or ext. 6004 (high school).

For any questions concerning the incident, which did not involve a district employee or bus, please contact the WNY Bus Company at (716) 473-7077.