A DeRidder school bus driver was arrested Tuesday morning for allegedly driving students to school while under the influence, authorities said.
Tammy Gibson, 60, of DeRidder, was charged with driving while intoxicated and reckless operation of a vehicle after authorities said they received numerous complaints of her driving recklessly with students in her care.
According to Deputy Police Chief Christopher Rudy, the department first received a 911 call at about 7 a.m. from a 15-year-old student riding Gibson’s bus who reported the driver was “swerving and running stop signs.”
Minutes later, Rudy said the department received a second phone call from the parent of another student on the bus who had texted that the driver was running stop signs and running into ditches.
At 7:16 a.m., officers located the bus at a DeRidder school and identified Gibson as the driver. Following an investigation into Gibson’s condition, she was charged and transported to the DeRidder police department for additional testing.
According to Police Chief Craig Richard, Gibson submitted to an alcohol test that indicated no alcohol was present. A search warrant was later obtained for a blood toxicology test. Gibson was also seen by a physician at Beauregard Health System’s Emergency Room and was subsequently released back to police custody.
Gibson was booked into the Beauregard Parish Jail with bonds pending.
According to authorities, the DWI charge will carry an enhancement of child endangerment.
Beauregard Parish School Board Superintendent Timothy Cooley said all students who were being transported on Gibson’s bus were safely delivered to their appropriate schools, and that the school board is working with the police in their investigation.
Cooley declined to comment on whether any complaints had been received in the past regarding Gibson’s driving, but said the investigation into Tuesday’s incident is ongoing.