Wake County school bus driver resigns after crash, DWI charges

RALEIGH, NC (WNCN) — A Raleigh man has officially resigned as a school bus driver after a DWI charge over a wreckage was filed earlier this month, a spokesman for the Wake County Public School System said Tuesday.

According to a press release from the Raleigh Police Department, the accident, in which a pedestrian was struck, occurred around 10:40 am on the morning of May 20 at the intersection of Bellwood Drive and Cameron Street.

The driver, Donald Edward Eli, 60, of Raleigh, has been charged with impaired driving in a commercial vehicle and operating a school bus after drinking, police said.

Donald Edward Eli in a photo by CCBI. A photo of the scene by a CBS 17 viewer

According to police, there were no students on the bus at the time of the accident.

According to an arrest warrant, Eli had a blood alcohol level of 0.23 when tested following the accident that resulted in injuries.

Police said the bus struck a construction worker on Bellwood Drive, even though the man was wearing a safety vest and yelled for him to stop.

According to court documents, Eli was also unaware that a person was hit by the bus.

“I think the most disturbing thing about what we heard is that he says he didn’t see anything, that if he really drank that much, he looked straight at me, made eye contact multiple times and still did so ‘ said Carl Rhinehart, who was hit by the bus.

On the day of the tragedy, the Wake County Public School System issued this full statement:

This afternoon, bus driver Donald Eli was arrested for driving a school bus after consuming alcohol and interfering with driving in a commercial vehicle. He was relieved of all driving services. He is currently suspended from employment pending our investigation. We are grateful that no students were present on this bus at the time of the arrest. Our employees are subject to the highest standards. The district will not tolerate any action that does not comply with these standards.

https://www.cbs17.com/news/local-news/wake-county-news/wake-county-school-bus-driver-resigns-after-crash-dwi-charge/ Wake County school bus driver resigns after crash, DWI charges

Dais Johnston

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