A bus driver from Massapequa was arrested on charges of driving while ability impaired after he crashed a school bus during a field trip in Cold Spring Harbor.
James Sommer was driving a school bus carrying 29 Plainedge Middle School seventh graders and a teacher to the DNA Learning Center, part of the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, when he attempted to park the bus and backed into a tree limb. A 12-year-old girl was taken to Huntington Hospital with minor injuries.
Sommer, 47, of 248 North Beech St., Massapequa, was charged by Suffolk County Police with aggravated driving while ability impaired while operating a school bus.
The school bus was impounded. Sommer will be held overnight at the Second Precinct for his arraignment Tuesday at First District Court in Central Islip.
Plainedge Schools Superintendent Edward A. Salina, Jr. said: "Earlier today, one of our district buses transporting 29 seventh-grade middle school students to a field trip was involved in an accident. The teacher chaperone on board immediately notified the building principal. Local police were contacted and responded to the scene. The Plainedge Middle School Principal, District Transportation Supervisor and Assistant to the Superintendent for Facilities and Special Projects arrived to assess the situation and ensure student safety. District administrators contacted the parents of each student on the bus. One student, at the request of the parents, was transported to the hospital and later released.Suffolk County Police took the driver into custody and is currently conducting an investigation. The district is fully cooperating with the local authorities. The district will take appropriate action based on the outcome of an investigation."
Correction: Suffolk Police have amended the initial charges and say, "The investigation is continuing and additional charges may be filed."