WASHINGTON, D.C. (7News) — A contracted bus driver transporting D.C. Public Schools (DCPS) kids was arrested Thursday on multiple counts of commercial DWI and child endangerment after running off the road while driving Murch Elementary School kindergarteners back home from a field trip at Cox Farms in Centreville, Va., according to the Fairfax County Police Department (FCPD).
FCPD Captain Rachel Levy said 48-year-old Troy Reynolds, of Oxon Hill, Md., was behind the wheel of the bus when he drove off the road, struck a rock, damaged a rim and flattened a rear tire. That's when the adults on the bus could tell something was wrong and requested Reynolds pull over, she added. He then stopped the bus in a parking lot in Chantilly.
Officers from the Sully District Station and Fairfax County Fire and Rescue personnel responded to the parking lot. Nine children were treated on the scene for injuries that were deemed non-life threatening.
Responding officers reported that Reynolds smelled of alcohol. Reynolds had a blood-alcohol level of .20, Levy said. The legal limit in Virginia is .08. Police also found that he was in possession of a fraudulent medical card. Reynolds Reynolds was charged with driving while intoxicated, commercial DWI with child endangerment, and nine counts of gross, wanton, or reckless care for a child. His license was found to be revoked in Virginia from a prior DWI and suspended in Maryland, police said and e was also found in possession of a fraudulent medical card.
Reynolds was taken to the Adult Detention Center in Fairfax County where he will be held on no bond.
SEE ALSO | Md. man, hired as contractor, hid camera in bathroom of DC woman & her daughter: MPD
The field trip required two buses to transport the students. Following the incident, an additional bus was called to pick up the stranded kids, but that driver was found to not have the correct license to be driving the bus, Levy said.
After some investigating, Levy said that both of the busses that weren't driven by Reynolds were also placed out of service for safety violations, and the two additional bus drivers were also cited for not having valid commercial driver's licenses. Officers assigned to Fairfax County's Motor Carrier Safety (MCS) unit also responded to assist with the investigation and found a total of 18 safety violations between the two buses transporting the children on the field trip.
There were 44 students and four adults aboard the bus, which DCPS chartered from Rome Charters LLC. 7News has reached out to Rome Charters LLC for comment.
Police said the children on both buses and their chaperones were taken to the nearby Fairfax County Police Training Academy where they hung out until Fairfax County buses drove the children back to D.C.
This is Reynolds' second DWI charge within five to 10 years, Levy said, meaning he shouldn't have been operating the bus in Virginia, to begin with.
"His privilege to drive in the state of Virginia, I believe, has been revoked," she said.
READ MORE: Bus assigned to take special needs DC student to school regularly late; mother fed up
No injuries were reported to students or adults.
DCPS Chancellor Dr. Lewis Ferebee said the school system is pursuing steps to discontinue its relationship with Rome Charters LLC following a full review of its contract with the charter company. He added that DCPS has been doing business with the company since 2016 and they see this incident as a breach of contract.
DCPS released a statement addressing the incident:
“We thank the Murch Elementary teachers and staff who ensured the students' safety on their field trip today. All children were evaluated by emergency medical services following the incident and there are no injuries reported. We appreciate the support of Fairfax County law enforcement, who welcomed students at a nearby training facility as they awaited transportation back to the school. DCPS takes this incident very seriously, and our teams will do a thorough review of our transportation vendors to ensure that student safety is always prioritized. We are incredibly thankful that no one sustained injuries during this frightening incident.”