Police: School bus driver drunk behind the wheel
TYNGSBORO, Mass. (WHDH) -- A local school bus driver is facing charges after being intoxicated while driving a bus with kids on board, according to police.
Erik Paulik, 37, was driving drunk when he smashed a yellow mini school bus with six others inside, including four special needs students, according to officials.
Police said on Monday afternoon the front mirror on Paulik’s bus smashed through the rear window of a minivan school bus, which had just stopped at a red light. There were also four special needs students in the minivan. They were covered in glass, but otherwise unhurt.
“We had medical crews come to look at the children and transport in a different vehicle to their homes,” said Deputy Chief Richard Barrows of the Tyngsboro Police Department.
The police report said Paulik was so drunk he blew a .27 on a portable breathalyzer, more than three times the legal limit. Paulik refused a second test at the police station.
Officers interviewed the driver of the minivan.
“She advised that prior to being rear ended she did note the bus behind her was tailgating her,” said prosecutor Jennifer O’Neil.
The driver of the van ended up needing a neck brace.
All eight children involved in the crash are students at the Lighthouse School, a non-profit that caters to special needs students from about 70 surrounding towns.
Police said before Paulik arrived at the school to pick up the students he had been speeding, driving 90 to 100 miles per hour on the trip from New Hampshire.
The school’s principal said he didn’t hire Paulik. He was hired by Easter Seals of Manchester, N.H.
The Easter Seals placed Paulik on administrative leave as they investigate.