AURORA, Ill. (CBS) — A woman stood accused Tuesday evening of drinking beer behind the wheel of a bus filled with kids in Aurora.
As CBS 2’s Marissa Parra reported, a convenience store clerk tipped off officials after police said the bus driver bought her alcohol there.
It was 6 a.m. when police say the driver walked into a Speedway and bought beer while on the clock.
On bus camera video, 44-year-old Michelle Passley who had just completed one route when she stopped to get two cans of beer, before getting back into the school bus and driving off.
— Marissa Parra (@MarParNews) November 26, 2019
Moments later, Passley placed the beer into a brown paper bag and drinking from the bag while driving from C I Johnson Elementary School in Aurora.
Police said it was because of the clerk at the Speedway who told the East Aurora School District what happened.
“But for that convenient store clerk that contacted the school district, that we’d be none the wiser of this. And so there are two very strong messages that are going out. That it’s not tolerated and we need the community’s involvement,” said Aurora Police Chief Kristen Ziman.
The driver’s family was not happy to see CBS 2’s Jermont Terry when he stopped by Tuesday night.
“You ain’t got no reason to come knocking on this door! Ain’t no questions to be answered – if anything, go speak to my lawyer!” a man behind the door said.
The man was clearly irate by the fact that CBS 2 came by.
Meanwhile, parents and other members of the school community at C L Johnson were livid about Passley’s alleged conduct.
“That’s very scary; very upsetting,” said Armando Lopez, who helps kids on and off buses at the school. “She shouldn’t be driving at all no more.”
The bus company, First Student, fired Passley. There were 32 students on the bus.
“It’s infuriating to believe that someone who is trusted with these children on a daily basis could potentially put them in this kind of danger,” Ziman said.
“What is going through her mind? I mean – you just can’t, that’s unforgivable. You can’t do that,” Lopez said.
But we’ve seen school bus drivers cross the line before. In September 2018, a Valparaiso, Indiana bus driver was fired for letting students drive the bus.
And back in March, an Evanston bus driver attacked a 9-year-old on his route.
Police don’t know for sure yet if Passley has ever done this before, but her driving record is otherwise clean.