School Bus Driver Arrested For 'Driving Under The Influence Of Drugs'

School Bus Driver Arrested For 'Driving Under The Influence Of Drugs'
by Michael Zennie
  • Lycia Martinez failed a field sobriety test after police pulled over her bus south of Salt Lake City, Utah
  • A terrified parent on the bus called 911 sand said: 'Oh my hell. My heart is pounding. She's nuts.'
  • Martinez had taken painkillers and medication for blood pressure and anxiety - all of which list dizziness as a side effect

A Utah school bus driver has been charged with driving under the influence of prescription medication with 67 children aboard her bus after terrified chaperones called 911 to report that she was swerving between lanes at 80mph.

Lycia Martinez, 39, had four different prescription drugs with her at the time of her arrest on Monday morning - painkillers, anti-anxiety pills and blood pressure medication, police say. All of them warn that dizziness could be a side effect.

Parents who called 911 were audibly anxious as they described Martinez's erratic driving on Interstate 15 south of Salt Lake City.

'Oh my hell,' the parent said, in an audio recording of the call. 'I don't get scared very easily but my heart is pounding.'

'It's freaking scary and we've got 76 people on this bus. She's nuts.' 
'Oh, oh, oh. She almost hit a van.... I am honestly shaking at this point. I'm going to just close my eyes so I see nothing.'

A concerned motorist also called 911 to report the bus.

Martinez was driving the elementary students and eight teachers from Davis County, Utah, north of Salt Lake city to Brigham Young University in Provo - a journey of nearly 60 miles.

The Utah Highway Patrol pulled the bus over south of Salt Lake City shortly after 8am in rush hour traffic on Interstate 15.

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This is the bus Martinez was pulled from and handcuffed after she began swerving between lanes at 80mph on a Utah expressway

This dashcam video from the Utah Highway Patrol shows that Martinez had problems staying in her lane - even as she was being pulled over

Martinez failed a field sobriety test and was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence of drugs.

Police say she was not abusing the medication she had - but had taken it at the wrong time and was impaired when she got behind the wheel.

Martinez has been driving for Davis County School District for six years. She has been suspended pending the outcome of a police investigation. 

The children, fifth and sixth graders, were mostly oblivious to Martinez's bad driving, police said. 

However, one girl texted her mother when she realized cops had showed up to pull over the bus. 

Utah State Patrol's Sergeant Blaine Robbins said an impaired driver swerving through rush our traffic on a busy freeway could have led to disaster. He said the children were lucky that parents called 911 when they did. 

'We really dodged a bullet,' Blaine Robbins said.

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