The bus driver charged with DWI on the Long Island Expressway on Wednesday was a bus driver within the Three Village Central School District, a school spokesperson confirmed Thursday.
According to police, Robert Stundis, 48, of Bohemia, was driving a Ford mini-bus with one tire missing on the westbound lanes of the LIE at around 4:45 p.m. when police stopped him just east of Exit 60 in Ronkonkoma. When officers stopped him, they administered a series of sobriety tests and determined that he was intoxicated. A breathalyzer revealed a blood-alcohol content of .23.
On Thursday afternoon, the Three Village Central School District sent a ConnectEd voice message to parents and posted the following message on its website:
Late this afternoon the district was notified that a bus driver working for our contract bus company – Acme Bus Company – was arrested last night and charged with DWI. Earlier in the day yesterday he was driving a mini-bus in our district. Thankfully, no district children were on the bus at the time of the arrest nor were any children injured as a result of the driver's careless actions. We are completely horrified by these allegations and have made personal contact with parents of the children who were on the bus to share the information we have been told by bus company and law enforcement representatives. Our students' safety has and continues to be of utmost importance to us. I assure you that we are taking this matter very seriously and we will continue to work with members of the police department during their investigation.
No children were on board the bus at the time of Stundis' arrest, however Stundis did admit that he had dropped off students from a middle school earlier in the day. Police also discovered an open bottle of vodka on the bus.
Stundis is facing charges of aggravated DWI. In a statement, Sheriff Vincent F. DeMarco said the fact that Stundis was responsible for transporting children made the crime all the more egregious.
"When we entrust our children to the care of others, we expect more; Mr. Stundis will be held accountable for violating that trust," DeMarco stated.
According to a Newsday report, an Acme Bus Company representative said Stundis has been suspended without pay from his job at Acme Bus Company, where he has worked for 10 years. He was arraigned at First District Court in Central Islip on Thursday and is being held on $25,000 cash bail or $100,000 bond, according to the report.
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