FLAGLER COUNTY, Fla. — A Flagler County Schools bus driver is facing felony child neglect charges after he was arrested for driving a loaded school bus while drunk, deputies said.
According to deputies, Mark McNeill of Ormond Beach was four times over the legal limit when he was arrested Wednesday.
Investigators said another bus employee had told a supervisor that McNeill “smelled of alcohol” when he reported to work that afternoon.
Deputies said McNeil later drove off in a bus assigned to another driver and proceeded to pick up students at Buddy Taylor Middle School for his normal afternoon route.
According to the Sheriff’s Office, McNeill failed to respond to repeated requests from other transportation employees by radio.
A supervisor was able to catch up with McNeill in the area of Karas Trail and Karat Path.
The supervisor told deputies McNeil then got off the bus and fell to the ground, saying he was having trouble breathing.
McNeil was taken to a nearby hospital before deputies could arrive.
According to a report, when deputies arrived at the hospital, McNeill attempted to run away before finally being caught in the parking lot.
See video of the arrest below:
Deputies arrested McNeill on charges of DUI with passengers under 18, resisting an officer without violence, and child neglect.
Flagler Sheriff Rick Staly commended the other bus employee for reporting McNeill to supervisors.
“Thankfully, no one was hurt as a result of his actions. I commend the employee who reported him to school officials,” Staly said.
Deputies said the Florida Highway Patrol had cited McNeil for failing to obey a stop sign after he was involved in a crash while on the same bus route earlier in the week.
Flagler County Schools said in a statement that McNeil was placed on administrative leave with pay as they conduct an investigation.
“Flagler Schools recognizes parents place the safety of their children in our hands each and every day. That is a responsibility we do not take lightly. We will fully investigate these serious allegations and charges,” the district said.
©2022 Cox Media Group