Troopers: School bus driver transporting girls’ basketball team drove bus drunk in Schoharie County

PETER R. BARBER/STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER A State Police vehicle cruises in the south bound lane of Interstate 87 in Saratoga Saturday, December 12, 2020.
PHOTOGRAPHER:

PETER R. BARBER/STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER A State Police vehicle cruises in the south bound lane of Interstate 87 in Saratoga Saturday, December 12, 2020.

SCHOHARIE – A school bus driver transporting members of the Cohoes girls’ basketball team drove drunk on Interstate 88 in Schoharie on Friday evening, according to state police and the district.

No students were harmed in the incident, but a Cohoes coach became concerned enough to call 911, according to the district.

State police then responded and stopped the bus. The driver, identified as Harry Olivier, 43, of Troy, was subsequently arrested on multiple charges, including three felony counts of Leandra’s Law driving while intoxicated and 11 counts of misdemeanor endangering  the welfare of a child, state police said.

The incident happened at about 8:30 p.m. Friday on Interstate 88. State police indicated they stopped the bus after receiving calls that the driver was driving erratically and operating a school bus on Interstate 88 in the town of Schoharie, state police said.

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In a message from Cohoes superintendent Peggy O’Shea posted to the district’s website, the superintendent indicated a Cohoes coach called 911 about the driver who was transporting students from an athletic event.

Once stopped, state police administered sobriety tests on Olivier and he was taken into custody for driving under the influence, authorities said. A breath sample taken at the barracks in Cobleskill then returned a 0.06% blood-alcohol content, a number that is over the legal limit for the type of vehicle he was driving, authorities said.

Olivier was processed and released to appear in court later.

O’Shea identified the driver as an employee of Durham School Services, a company with whom the district contracts for athletic events and field trips. The district’s other transportation needs are fulfilled through a different school bus service, the superintendent wrote.

Durham provided another driver to take the athletes safely back to the district, O’Shea wrote.

“This incident is obviously concerning and the district is taking this very seriously,” O’Shea wrote. “We have reached out to Durham for a review of their hiring, screening and training protocols that are in place to make sure students are safely transported to and from school events. The safety of our students is our highest priority and we are committed to doing everything possible to ensure their well-being both on school property and while being transported to and from school events.

“I want to commend the coach for her quick actions in addressing the situation and thank the team for remaining calm and providing support to each other during this incident,” the superintendent wrote.

Olivier was processed and released to appear in court later.

Categories: Fulton Montgomery Schoharie, News

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