Sleepy bus drivers may face charges

BELINGTON — Barbour County students en route to the National Zoo in Washington, D.C. were temporarily stranded due to sleepy bus drivers on Thursday.

Hardy County sheriff’s deputies pulled over the two commercial buses transporting the students and their chaperones on a field trip Thursday morning after “the buses were observed crossing the lines and running off the travel lanes multiple times,” according to information released by the Hardy County Sheriff’s Office.

After intercepting both vehicles at the 121 mile marker, deputies found both drivers to be in a tired state, soon learning that neither had slept in more than 24 hours, police said. Passengers reportedly confirmed the situation.

“It was quickly determined that neither bus driver should drive another mile without a full night’s rest, so alternative transportation was arranged,” the Sheriff’s Office release states. The drivers were then transported to a hotel in Moorefield.

Thanks to cooperation from Hardy County Schools Superintendent Sheena Van Meter, the students and chaperones were taken to a safe location until the bus company sent drivers who had slept the night before and could legally drive, police said.

“The Hardy County Sheriff’s Office is happy that the incident was resolved safely and the children and chaperones were able to proceed on their trip with drivers who have had a full night of rest,” the release states.

Department of Transportation officials were dispatched to the scene, and charges are pending against both drivers, according to information released by the Sheriff’s Office.

Barbour County Superintendent of Schools Jeff Woofter was attending the state track meet on Friday and was unavailable for comment for this article.