LI summer camp bus driver charged with DWI, multiple other charges following 2 incidents
A Long Island summer camp bus driver was arraigned Wednesday on federal DWI charges under Leandra's Law and a host of others following two incidents.
Police say they were called to Baiting Hollow Scout Camp Tuesday afternoon after Diane Juergens, of Ridge, was allegedly involved in two separate incidents and left the scene.
Juergens allegedly had a blood alcohol content level of 0.27 after she hit a cement pillar and a car while behind the wheel.
According to court documents, there were 10 children aboard ages six to 10 years old. Police say no one was hurt.
Juergens, 61, is facing a slew of charges, including 10 counts of child endangerment. She pleaded not guilty to all of them.
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.
In court, Juergens' legal aid attorney said her husband had recently passed away and that she has no criminal record.
Alisa and John McMorris couldn't believe the news when they heard what happened at the camp. Their Boy Scout son was struck and killed by a drunk driver on a hike in 2018.
"To get into that bus and drive children is just disgusting," says John McMorris. "It's appalling what happened and so preventable."
The bus, belonging to Hicksville's 1st Student Bus Company, was impounded.
The Suffolk County Council of the Boy Scouts of America released a statement on the matter, saying, "Nothing is more important than the safety of our youth members. As part of our regular safety measures, we always have a staff member on board each bus that takes youth members to and from camp. Upon realizing that something was wrong with the bus driver, our staff member took immediate action, and we were able to safely remove all youth members from the bus before contacting authorities. There were no injuries thanks to this quick action."
The McMorrises are currently working with federal lawmakers to mandate electronic monitoring systems in cars and school buses to have smart features take over if a driver is drunk. The bill has passed the House and is making its way through the Senate.