Rhonda Barksdale: Shocking moment SCHOOL BUS driver is seen swerving with 40 students on board, arrested for DUI

The bus driver was charged with 40 counts of reckless endangerment—one count for each student on the bus—and driving under the influence

Rhonda Barksdale: Shocking moment SCHOOL BUS driver is seen swerving with 40 students on board, arrested for DUI
Rhonda Barksdale (L) is charged with 40 counts of reckless endangerment (WAFF/video screengrab)
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FRANKLIN COUNTY, ALABAMA: A bus driver for Franklin County Schools, who was operating under the influence of alcohol while transporting 40 students to school, has been arrested on Friday, September 16. According to investigators, for each child she was transporting, the driver, Rhonda Barksdale, was charged with 40 counts of reckless endangerment.

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The footage, posted on Facebook, was captured by another driver who was following the bus dangerously driven by Barksdale from one end to the other on a two-lane road. The footage shows the bus swerving on the road and later a motorist leaped into action to make it stop. 

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According to a WAFF report, Sheriff Shannon Oliver of Franklin County said deputies responded to a call regarding a school bus driver operating the vehicle in an unsafe manner. According to him, the bus was being driven by Rhonda Barksdale, 58, when a concerned motorist pulled in front of it to make it stop. Sheriff Oliver stated the worried motorist initially believed the bus driver was experiencing a medical emergency when they boarded the bus but soon realized there was another issue.

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Oliver said that the students were on their way to Tharptown School and no one was injured. He also claimed that Barksdale failed a field sobriety test administered by investigators and was arrested on the scene. The bus driver was charged with 40 counts of reckless endangerment—one count for each student on the bus—and driving under the influence. 

In a similar incident that took place in Georgia last month, reported by Fox 5, The Pickens County School District superintendent claimed that following a bus crash involving children, the district fired a bus driver who was accused of driving under the influence. Another bus driver who was allegedly charged with DUI after finishing her route has been suspended.

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In another report by WSBTV, two school bus drivers in Pickens County have been charged with DUI less than a month after the start of the new academic year. After deputies allege that bus driver Jeffrey Tucker was intoxicated when he picked up children from school, he was charged with DUI and 40 counts of reckless conduct. Tucker allegedly drove the school bus carrying children off the side of the road and into a ditch, according to Georgia State Patrol. No one on board, including the students, was hurt in the collision.

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