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Lee County school bus driver charged with DWI

Posted September 10, 2009
Updated September 11, 2009

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— A 51-year-old school bus driver in Lee County was arrested Thursday morning and charged with DWI, Broadway police said.

Bonnie Gilmore Sloan, of 65 Uppergate Lane in Sanford, was also charged with one count each of reckless driving to endanger and misdemeanor child abuse and two counts each of injury to personal property, hit-and-run and leaving the scene of property damage. Authorities said she hit two mailboxes – on West Harrington Avenue and Ruth Ann Lane – and left both scenes.

Lee County school bus driver charged with DWI School bus driver arrested for DWI

Sloan, a bus driver for East Lee Middle School, was arrested after a resident along West Harrington Avenue called police around 8 a.m. to report his mailbox was damaged. The resident also told police that his stepson had called his wife to say his bus driver was driving erratically and he was scared.

After Sloan dropped off the bus at the school, she got into her personal vehicle and hit the road again. Lee County Sheriff Tracy Carter said a deputies pulled Sloan over after seeing her swerving along Highway 42.

"It was obvious something was wrong," Carter said.

Sloan was charged with DWI twice – once for driving her personal vehicle and once for driving the school bus, authorities said.

One of approximately 20 students on the bus said that Sloan was texting while driving and not watching the road. The student, who did not want to be identified, said the bus was on two-wheels at one point and nearly struck two cars before being backed into a ditch.

“She could barely get in the bus parking lot, and she finally let us out,” the student said.

Upon exiting the bus, several of the students called their parents to let them know about the ride.

Sloan has been released under a $10,000 secured bond. Her next court date is Nov. 19, police said.

Sloan, who also works as a cafeteria worker at Broadway Elementary, has been suspended without pay from her job pending an investigation, according Lee County Schools spokeswoman Sharon Spence. Sloan has worked for the school system since 2005.

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  • Redneck Fun Sep 11, 2009

    For the record!!! Both DWI charges are good, I too could see charging for each child, but there is no way to prove how many children were on the bus at the time, and she was impaired by prescription drugs not alcohol. Back ground check would not help this, and they do background checks already in Lee County. There are also drivers with prior DWIs that have been clean and are darn good bus drivers now. This is an isolated incident and is extremely difficult to catch in advance.

  • Professor Sep 11, 2009

    hey professor in the "old days" kids didn't have cell phones and mp3 and every thing else to distract them. why not fund our education system adequately to staff quality people instead of our government wasting money
    tot42

    You are right on the button with the above comment. Thanks. No distraction is the major problems we are dealing with today. Have a good weekend. I could use a job. :)

  • tot42 Sep 11, 2009

    HEY PROFESSOR SHE WASN'T DRUNK!! SHE WAS IMPAIRED ON PRESCRIPTION MEDICATIONS.ALSO HOW IS A BACK-GROUND CHECK GOING TO TELL YOU IF SOMEONE MAY DRIVE IMPAIRED IN THE FUTURE. ANYONE WITH A CLEAN RECORD CAN STILL MAKE A MISTAKE!

  • Professor Sep 11, 2009

    DON'T DRINK AND DRIVE MEANS DRIVING SCHOOL BUSES TOO. HOW LONG HAD SHE BEEN DRIVING A BUS AND DRINKING. SHAME ON HER. HER LICENSE NEEDS TO BE TAKEN AWAY WHILE SHE SPEND THE 20 YEARS IN PRISON. START BACK-GROUND CHECKING THESE BUS DRIVERS FOR SAFETY FOR ALL OUR CHILDREN SAKES. WAKE UP LEE COUNTY AND DO THE RIGHT THING!

  • tot42 Sep 11, 2009

    hey professor in the "old days" kids didn't have cell phones and mp3 and every thing else to distract them. why not fund our education system adequately to staff quality people instead of our government wasting money

  • Rockermom Sep 11, 2009

    I realize the DWI part is enough, but did anyone note the comment from the child regarding Bonnie texting? Really?

  • Professor Sep 11, 2009

    Back when I was going to school we had high school students to drive the busses.

    I am beginning to see more and more that high school students are making better drivers every day than some adults. Why not give it a try NC. In the old days of high schoolers driving, you did not hear about these kinds of accidents.

  • tot42 Sep 11, 2009

    because if you have ever observed our fine North Carolina judicial system (especilly in Lee county i'm told) it resembles a comedy show more than judical proceeding. judges are former lawyers and "in bed" with most defense attorneys. as more law enforcement moves toward the fine d.r.e. programs that are gaining recognition around the country hopefully this will get better

  • Professor Sep 11, 2009

    I am trying to find me a job since being laid off. I don't drink, either. Yet, the schools continue to hire people without even checking their back ground. Must of been a friend of a friend situation. I am so glad none of the children on the bus was hurt. This lady's family was not with her on this one. The courts needs to see that she gets 20 years in prison. Shame on her! She knew better.

  • bubbba Sep 11, 2009

    Two DWI charges are bogus and a waste of time for prosecutor and judge. Only thing her defense has to say is show me breathalizer or blood analasis for first offence.. They dont have one and you cant say cause your drunk at 8:00 am your were drunk at 7:00.
    The first one is not worth the time and trouble to prosecute.
    The second more than likely will be reduced to wreckless driving....I dont see any breathalizer readings so my guess is they dont have one, meaning she was impaired on something other than alcohol. Is she was just recovering from depression or even just had root canal and took Vicodin a judge will usually dismiss for medical reasons....But since she hit a mailbox and drove in the ditch she is gonna face the charges. No excuse for driving intoxicated on drugs or alcohol, but I had root canal this week and drove to dentist and back on vicodin...I shouldnt have because i was not entirely sober, but my dang tooth hurt so bad I was going to dentist hell or high water.

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