Bus company: Termination process has begun for camp driver accused of DWI
The company that the driver who allegedly drove drunk with campers aboard works for has responded to its employee's arrest.
Diane Juergens, 61 from Ridge, is accused of hitting a cement pillar and a car that was swerving away from her bus before she was met by police at Baiting Hollow Scout Camp Tuesday.
According to court documents, there were 10 children aboard ages six to 10 years old, but no one was injured.
A counselor on that bus called police to alert them to the dangerous situation after it occurred.
Juergens allegedly had a blood alcohol content level of 0.27 at the time. She pleaded not guilty to DWI charges under Leandra's Law and 10 counts of child endangerment.
Due to the seriousness of the alleged crimes, the judge ordered Juergens to be on supervised release and she must wear an alcohol monitor bracelet.
First Student Bus Company has since released a statement, saying in part, "We are incredibly disappointed by our driver's actions. Behavior such as this is unacceptable and does not align with the high standards we strive for in all we do. We have initiated the termination process."
The news was of particular shock and concern to the McMorris family, of Shoreham-Wading River. The incident happened at the same camp their 12-year-old son Andrew was attending when he was fatally struck by a drunk driver while hiking in 2018.
"We feel grateful they had youth protection in mind when they put someone on the bus," says Alisa McMorris. "If they didn't put someone on the bus, this would be a very different story today. Who knows what would have happened?"
Juergens will be back in court next month.