The California Highway Patrol revealed that a Watsonville, Calif. school bus driver in northern Calif. allegedly lied about what happened in a crash he caused in April, reports KSBW.
While on its route the morning of April 23, a Monte Vista Christian School bus driven by Francisco Solano Valenzuela ran off the road and hit a power pole. No one onboard was hurt, which the California Highway Patrol said could be credited to the seat belts the bus was equipped with.
While live wires were dangling around the bus, Valenzuela had the 34 students on board disembark via a side door before law enforcement or emergency personal arrived. CHP confirmed that was a dangerous move.
“He led them off the bus with wires hanging right there,” Officer Sam Courtney said. “Those power lines were a serious concern. Fortunately, no one was injured. That was potentially dangerous.”
But that wasn’t the worst part of the incident. Driver Valenzuela reported to CHP that he crashed because he had to swerve to miss a white car that had crossed the median and was headed straight at the bus. However, CHP confirmed that surveillance video from the bus told a different story—that Valenzuela had fallen asleep at the wheel.
“The video shows him clearly falling asleep,” Officer Courtney said.
Valenzuela is being charged with child endangerment and giving false information to a peace officer, but as of May 10, had not been arrested.