BALTIMORE COUNTY, Md. (WJZ) — Swerving all over the road. WJZ obtains the dramatic 911 calls from an incident where police say a Baltimore bus driver was drinking and driving on her way to pick up children.
Rick Ritter has more on the arrest and the bus driver’s history.READ MORE: ‘This Is Not Fear Mongering’ Baltimore Mayor Brings Back Indoor Mask Mandate; Governor Says No To Statewide Mask Mandate But Will Require Vaccines, Testing For Some State Employees
Police say they found open containers of beer and liquor on the bus. Now we’re learning she has a lengthy criminal history.
A boozing bus driver is slammed with more than 20 charges, including DUI.
On February 27, 52-year-old Pamela Willie was on her way to pick up kids from a private school in Montgomery County. It’s a parent’s worst nightmare; state police say Willie was driving drunk along 695.
“An orange school bus-type vehicle that was swerving across lanes and running vehicles off the road,” said Greg Shipley, Maryland State Police.
Frantic 911 calls describe chaos on the roadways.
“There is a bus that’s not driving properly; swerving across the road, in and out of lanes. Looks like it’s going to cause an accident,” said one caller.
Drivers feared for their lives.
“It’s in traffic weaving in between the breakdown lane and the middle lane, back and forth, back and forth,” a caller said.
Luckily, police pulled Willie over near Towson—before she got to the kids.
“Troopers found four containers of beer and liquor on the bus. Some were empty; some were full,” Shipley said.READ MORE: 'I Saw It Coming' Residents React To Reinstated Indoor Mask Mandate In Baltimore
WJZ went digging into Willie’s past and found out this wasn’t the first time she was arrested for DUI. Court documents show Willie was arrested for everything from assault to drug possession in years past.
Timothy Foster, owner of Mr. Tim’s Bus Rides, opened up to WJZ about the arrest.
“Never in my wildest dreams did I think that she would jeopardize her own career, the lives of others,” Foster said.
He says he knew Willie had a criminal history, but that he has a big heart and wanted to give her a second chance.
Ritter: “Why even take a chance with someone who has a long history of criminal problems?”
Foster: “That is a very good question and one that I’m asking myself.”
It’s an incident that could have taken a turn for the worst and ended in a deadly crash.
The owner says Willie was not a regular school bus driver; she was a charter bus driver, who is no longer employed with the company.
The owner of the company says he does conduct background checks and none of his other drivers have a criminal history.
WJZ tried to reach the bus driver, but she did not respond to our requests.MORE NEWS: Ravens Announce Countdown To Kickoff Watch Party For Season Opener Against Raiders
Read more and listen to the 911 calls on WNEW.com