CANTON – A Canton Central school bus driver involved in a crash on Friday has been suspended following charges he was operating the bus while under the influence of drugs.
Canton Central School District officials say they have been informed by state police that Richard Stemples has been charged with driving while ability impaired by drugs following the bus accident in Piercefield Friday morning.
Police report that a breathalyzer administered to Stemples did not reveal the presence of alcohol and that they are awaiting the results of additional lab testing.
Stemples’ bus driver and personal licenses have been suspended pending court action, school officials said. He has also been suspended from duties as a bus driver with the school district, they said.
One student was treated for injuries at Adirondack Medical Center in Saranac Lake and released following the accident.
Canton Schools Superintendent William Gregory said the student, who complained of blurred vision, was taken to the hospital by a teacher "as a precautionary measure for observation." Gregory said by the afternoon the student was "doing fine."
The bus was carrying students in Mrs. Morrill’s and Ms. Bergen’s first grade classes to the Wild Center in Tupper Lake .
No other students were reported hurt. Children were returned to school after being checked by medical personnel on site.
School officials originally said they believed that a flat tire might have caused the bus to veer off the highway.