‘It was a mistake.’ Fired bus driver says she had no idea she was drinking alcohol
Bus driver Amal Hanna says she is distraught after being fired for drinking an alcoholic beverage while driving students home from school in Smithtown.
“I have been crying and crying, I don't even have any more tears. It was just a mistake, it was a mistake,” Hanna said.
When heading out to work on Wednesday, Hanna says she grabbed what she thought was a regular seltzer that her roommate left in the fridge. It was a White Claw, and she says she had no idea there was alcohol in it.
She is currently going through chemotherapy treatments and says she has trouble tasting and did not taste any alcohol in it either. When the hard seltzer can was spotted in the driver’s cup holder on the bus - she was immediately removed. News 12 spoke with several parents who said Hanna was meticulous, always on time and treated their children as if they were her own.
“She was so sweet and kind to them, I can't imagine she would ever do anything to harm them,” one parent said. Hanna has been a bus driver for 15 years. She says her hope now is that the We Transport Bus Company's reputation will be restored. It released a statement saying, "This alleged conduct is completely unacceptable, and the driver has been immediately removed from service."
Suffolk County police say investigators believe the driver thought she was drinking a fruit-flavored seltzer and did not realize the beverage was alcoholic. They say no charges will be filed.