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Sheriff: Driver being charged after 'meltdown' on school bus | News

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Sheriff: Driver being charged after 'meltdown' on school bus

CONWAY COUNTY, Ark. (KTHV) - Details are unfolding after THV11 received numerous tips via social media about an incident regarding a South Conway County School District bus driver.

According to Conway County Sheriff Mike Smith, the office received a call around 4 p.m. Thursday about a school bus driver letting approximately 12 children off the bus at Highway 9 and Pinter Lane in Morrilton.  Alex Campbell with the sheriff's office said this was an unexpected location for the students to be dropped off; they were left at that location unattended until another bus arrived to pick them up.

Superintendent Shawn Halbrook told THV11's Marlisa Goldsmith that there were originally about 25 children on the bus at the time of the incident.

Sheriff Smith said in a press release that witnesses described the driver following the children off the bus while talking on a cell phone.

"While deputies were responding," Sheriff Smith said in the release, "we received another call stating the driver had gotten back on the bus and began traveling north again on Highway 9 with children still on board."

According to the release, Arkansas State Police and Conway County deputies were able to stop the driver without incident on Lonoke Road. The driver reportedly said he had a "meltdown."

Sheriff Smith said the driver was taken into custody and another bus picked up the children and took them home. Campbell said the driver will be charged with endangering the welfare of a minor 1st degree. The investigation into this case continues.