School board votes to fire bus driver after OWI arrest

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Janet Shaw

HAMILTON COUNTY, Ind. (Sept. 24, 2015) – The Board of Trustees for the Hamilton Heights School Corporation voted Thursday to fire a bus driver arrested this week on charges of driving while intoxicated.

Janet Kay Shaw, 53, was charged with eight counts of operating a vehicle while intoxicated with a passenger less than 18 years of age, seven counts of leaving the scene of an accident with bodily injury, two counts of possession of a controlled substance and one count of leaving the scene of an accident.

The charges stemmed from a crash Monday in which 23 students were on her bus. Court documents showed she had three different medication bottles in her purse, including Valium, Soma and Hydrocodone.

According to authorities, parents contacted school officials after students riding the bus told them about the crash on their cell phones. Initial investigation revealed the Hamilton Heights bus was driving southbound on Leonard Road at 286th Street, east of State Road 19, when the bus drove off the road. Investigators estimate the bus was traveling at approximately 40 miles per hour.

The school bus struck a wire to a utility pole and then went along the edge of the road before returning back to the pavement. School officials say Shaw was removed from the bus immediately when it arrived at Hamilton Heights Middle School. Several students were treated for headaches and minor aches and pains after the crash.

Shaw had been suspended and administrators had recommended her termination. School officials said they met with bus drivers Monday to let them know what happened. Shaw received a certified letter notifying her of her termination.