School bus driver charged with DUI after crash

The husband of a Pinellas driver defends the history of his wife.

A Florida school bus driver is locked up and accused of driving students home from school Tuesday while under the influence of drugs. Troopers say a hit-and-run fender-bender got her busted.

Dorothy Burse’s husband tells 10News that there’s no way his wife would put the kids at risk. He insists she’s a dedicated driver and not a drug user.

Parents trust bus drivers to get their kids to and from school safely. Troopers say Dorothy Burse gambled with seven students' lives by getting behind the wheel of the bus while on some kind of drug.

10News asked William Burse if he believed his wife has a drug problem.

“No, I'm positive she doesn't have a drug problem," he said. "She doesn't drink. She doesn't smoke cigarettes, doesn't do nothing."

Investigators say Burse had been driving home students from Lealman Innovation Academy.  She was stopped at the light at 54th Avenue and 66th Street North when she reported that a driver rear-ended the bus and took off.  There isn’t any visible damage to the bus, the students weren't hurt and told investigators that they didn't even know they got hit.

 

A trooper arrived with a trained drug recognition expert.  Florida Highway Patrol says the expert detected Burse was driving under the influence of drugs and failed a field sobriety test. 

“I have no clue why.. She's not on drugs,” said William Burse. When asked if he felt his wife would take a urine test to prove it, he said, "Yeah, she'll do everything. She's never been arrested in her life.”

If Burse refuses the test, FHP says she'll lose her commercial driver’s license that she needs to stay a school bus driver.

The Pinellas County School District says she’s been with the district since 2012. The district addressed the incident in a statement: 

Pinellas County Schools takes student safety seriously. The incident involving Ms. Burse is concerning. The accident and incident are under investigation. Appropriate disciplinary action will be taken following the results of the investigation.”

Investigators ask anyone with any information on the hit-and-run driver to call the FHP.

(© 2017 WTSP)


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