Bus driver arrested for DUI after crash


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What was supposed to be a fun summer outing turned scary for a group of children when the school bus they were riding in hit a light pole at The Gateway, injuring several children. After giving the driver a field sobriety test and a blood test, officers arrested him for DUI.

Fifty-one-year old Jon Hoffman was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence and leaving the scene of the accident. But the bus company that employs him says there's a lot more to this story and Hoffman's being treated unfairly.

Bus driver arrested for DUI after crash

The kids were on a field trip as part of a summer camp with the Jewish Community Center. Leaders say the children all are doing well; they were more frightened than anything.

Hoffman hit a light pole then left the scene. When he returned, police gave him a series of sobriety tests and subsequently arrested him. The news prompted the Jewish Community Center to immediately begin re-thinking their transportation agreement with company Serv-a-Bus.

Bus driver arrested for DUI after crash

Andrea Alcabes, the executive director of the Jewish Community Center, said, "We understand they have complied with regulation, but our confidence is shattered. We're going to look at other alternatives."

But Jody Barney, the COO of Serv-A-Bus, said, "I really believe he's getting an unfair shake here."

Bus driver arrested for DUI after crash

The bus company believes medication Hoffman was taking --medication they say they were aware of and was approved by a doctor-- may have affected him. "My driver was driving and all the sudden felt sick and light-headed," Barney said. He says, after the crash Hoffman felt ill and went to the restroom. "On his way, he did call our office so we could get things taken care of. When he was done in the restroom, he went back to the scene."

Police were unable to tell Eyewitness News if Hoffamn's DUI arrest was due to alcohol, drugs or prescription medication.

Meanwhile, all three organizations involved say their focus is on the kids. Alcabes said, "I hope their bruised feelings and scrapes are as serious as it gets."

E-mail: sdallof@ksl.com
E-mail: mgiauque@ksl.com

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Sarah Dallof and Marc Giauque

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