CLEVELAND COUNTY, N.C. (WBTV) – A Cleveland County bus driver has been charged for driving while impaired while students were on the bus, N.C. Trooper Ray Pierce confirmed to WBTV.
The female bus driver, identified as 27-year-old Raven Ross Fite, was arrested Thursday morning at Union Elementary School in Cleveland County, Pierce said.
Troopers say Highway Patrol was alerted when she dropped children off at the school.
Pierce said 24 children were on the school bus.
“I have two kids that were on the bus this morning, which that bus driver was driving while she was impaired,” parent Joseph Oglesbee said.
Oglesbee said he didn’t learn of the arrest from Cleveland County Schools, but rather from the news.
“I got a call from a person that works with the transportation,” Oglesbee said. “And they said that they couldn’t tell me anything because it was under investigation, but your kids are safe.”
Fite has been taken to jail under a $2,500 bond.
“That’s 25 kids on that bus. That’s everybody’s life as parents, as a parent of three. I think that’s crazy,” parent Mariah Davis said.
The mother of the bus driver, Michelle Martin, told WBTV that her daughter does not do drugs and she would only have a beer at night. She added that her daughter takes Benadryl at night to fall asleep and that she loves working with children, so she believes this was a mistake.
Oglesbee said he is now rethinking how his children will get to school.
“No, I won’t let my kids on the bus,” he said. “I will change my schedule just to make sure that you know, we aren’t worrying about everything else. I never thought this was possible.”
Cleveland County Schools sent WBTV this statement, calling the employee ‘a former bus driver’:
“We cannot provide any details regarding personnel matters but can confirm that our local Sheriff’s Office arrested a former bus driver today. The employee began in August of this school year and is currently under investigation.”
Cleveland County courts say Fite has waived her right to an attorney. Her new court date will be Feb. 22, 2022
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