School bus driver arrested on Kauai


LIHUE, Kauai (AP) — A 74-year-old Kapaa school bus driver has been arrested on suspicion of operating a vehicle under the influence of an intoxicant after crashing into a parked boat.

Lawrence Koth was driving to Kapaa Middle School on Thursday morning when police received reports the bus was swerving, Kauai police said in a news release. As Koth was pulling over for police, he sideswiped a parked boat and trailer, police said.

Four students on the bus were not injured.

His arrest wasn’t related to alcohol, county spokeswoman Sarah Blane said. Koth failed a sobriety test but passed a test of breath that measures blood alcohol, she said. Police were awaiting results of tests for prescription or illegal drugs. He has not been formally charged, Blane said.

Koth, who was released on $250 bail, could not be reached for comment Friday.

The bus was on the fourth stop of its 11-stop route, state Department of Education spokeswoman Donalyn Dela Cruz told the Honolulu Star-Advertiser.

“The first priority for DOE is the safety and well-being of our students coming to school, on our campus and returning home,” Bill Arakaki, Kauai complex superintendent, told the Garden Island on Thursday.

The department required that the driver be immediately and indefinitely removed from his position, he said, and reinstatement could be considered only after an investigation of the incident and employee background checks and screenings by both the contractor and the department.

 

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