Students returned to Central New York shortly after 6 p.m. on Monday a day later than expected after their bus broke down and the replacement driver was driving erratically.
Liverpool Central School District officials are saying that non-district driver was using electronic devices to the point where chaperones did not “feel safe” after he picked them up in York, Pa.
The district says that a Birnie Bus assigned to take students, along with their chaperones, to Washington, D.C. and back broke down in Pennsylvania.
A local bus service picked up the students and their chaperones, along with the Birnie Bus driver.
The new driver, however, was reportedly trying to use DVDs for bus entertainment, and also a mobile device.
The driver and the chaperones were concerned for their safety and asked that the bus be stopped.
“He was swerving, a little bit and at one point there was a car merging and they almost hit. I know he was on his phone,” said student Matt Lamson.
Officials say no drug or alcohol use was suspected, and that the police were not contacted regarding the bus driver.
Police did, however, help students cross from the stopped bus, to a nearby restaurant.
The district did not notify the students’ parents until Monday morning, saying that each student called their parents, and then reported that to the chaperones.
They then spent the night in Harrisburg, Pa.
Officials say a second Birnie Bus was sent to Harrisburg, and that the students and chaperones are expected to return to Liverpool at 4 p.m.