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PA school bus driver accused of driving drunk with students on board

EAST STROUDSBURG, Monroe County — An East Stroudsburg Area School District bus driver was arrested Wednesday after police say she drove a school bus filled with students while intoxicated.

Lourdes Torres, 49, picked up 21 students from East Stroudsburg Area High School South and dropped them off at their designated bus stops, according to charging documents.

Torres then made her way to Smithfield Elementary School for another bus route. While on an area roadway, a district resource officer — who was in a vehicle behind the bus — observed the bus driving “erratically.”

When Torres arrived at the elementary school, the resource officer and the elementary school principal observed the woman staggering off the bus and into the front of the school after she asked to use the bathroom, charging documents say.

The resource officer confronted Torres as she exited and told her that he could smell an odor of an alcoholic beverage coming from her. Torres told him that she had a couple “Vodka on the rocks” around 10 a.m. that morning, charging documents add.

A Pennsylvania State Police trooper then arrived at the school. Like the resource officer, the trooper also detected a strong odor of alcohol and observed her Torres’ eyes to be bloodshot and glossy.

Torres was placed under arrest and transported to the hospital to provide a blood sample.

District officials told WNEP that the bus driver has been placed on unpaid leave pending the outcome of the investigation.

Torres is facing 21 counts of endangering the welfare of children and reckless endangerment as well as one count each of driving under the influence, careless driving and reckless driving.