A Waco man is charged with DUI and 34 counts of wanton endangerment after allegedly slamming into the back of a Madison County school bus Monday afternoon. None of the children on board were injured.
Johnathan T. Matney, 32, was traveling behind the bus at 3:44 p.m. on Brassfield Road, according to a Kentucky State Police news release. The bus, driven by Charles Kirby of Waco, reportedly had stopped to turn onto Gumbottom Road.
A silver passenger car driven by Matney struck the bus when it slowed to turn, according to the release.
Matney and his passenger suffered minor injuries but refused treatment, according to the KSP.
The KSP officer on the scene observed that Matney appeared to be under the influence of drugs, said KSP Post 7 Public Affairs Officer Paul Blanton. The officer arrested the man, and Matney was taken to the hospital for a blood test.
Matney was charged with first-offense driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol and 34 counts of wanton endangerment, one for each person on the bus and also for his passenger. First-degree wanton endangerment is a Class D felony punishable by up to five years in prison.
Matney is lodged in the Madison County Detention Center as of Tuesday afternoon. His bond is set at $10,000 cash, according to a jail representative.
Madison Public Schools spokesperson Erin Stewart said the bus had just left Waco Elementary with elementary, middle and high school students on board.
“They pretty much had a full load,” Stewart said.
The district has procedures in place for bus accidents, and they were followed Monday afternoon, Stewart said. After emergency medical services was notified by a 911 call, the bus driver called the bus garage. Typically, the school transportation director and superintendent immediately go to the accident scene. Superintendent Tommy Floyd was at the accident Tuesday, Stewart said.
The school district also sent letters home with the children informing their parents about the accident, Stewart said.
In Monday’s accident, two buses that were in the vicinity were called in to take the children home. The bus that was struck did not sustain any significant damage, but is out of service while the school’s mechanics check it out, Stewart said.
Sarah Hogsed can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 624-6694.