Recklessly driving school bus driver had marijuana on her, police say

Posted at 3:00 PM, Nov 30, 2018
and last updated 2018-11-30 17:00:11-05

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    Naugatuck, CT (WFSB) — A school bus driver spotted recklessly driving in Naugatuck was found to be in possession of marijuana, according to police.

Grace Mcphail, 48, of Naugatuck, faces a number of charges.

Police said it started with an eyewitness report of a school bus driver driving recklessly on Thursday just after 6 p.m.

The witness reported seeing the bus fly through stop signs and speeding.

The caller also said that what was described as two juveniles fighting on the bus could be seen while the vehicle was stopped.

The caller followed the bus and called police.

Officers found and stopped the bus on Spring Street.

Police said they learned that Mcphail was off duty but was driving the bus with permission from her employer, First Student of Middlebury.

Mcphail said she was scared because she noticed the vehicle following her. She admitted to running through stop signs and driving fast.

However, investigators said they smelled a strong marijuana odor coming from inside the bus.

They found that Mcphail had marijuana and drug paraphernalia.

“It’s unfortunate because the vast majority of bus drivers out there are doing a very tough job every single day,” said Naugatuck Police Lt. Bryan Cammarata.

Police said Mcphail claimed that the two juveniles, both under the age of 18, had been smoking it.

The juveniles were found to be acquaintances of Mcphail.

In addition to the reckless driving and drugs, police said Mcphail had parked the bus at Breen Field in Naugatuck after hours.

Mcphail was arrested and held on a $5,000 bond.

She was charged with sale of a controlled substance, risk of injury to a child, possession of less than a half ounce of cannabis, use of less than a half ounce of marijuana, third-degree criminal trespass and reckless driving.

She was scheduled to face a judge in Waterbury on Friday.

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