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Man charged with operating school bus while drunk
A New Hampshire school bus driver blew a .26 on a portable Breathalyzer test after crashing into minivan that was also carrying students in Tyngsborough, Mass., Monday afternoon, according to police.
Erik K. Paulik, 37, of 170 Amherst St., Manchester, was arrested and charged with operating under the influence, child endangerment while operating under the influence and failure to slow down while approaching an intersection. He pleaded not guilty to all charges at his arraignment Tuesday morning in Lowell District Court.
According to the Middlesex District Attorney’s Office, Judge Laurence Pierce set bail at $3,000, and ordered Paulik not to drink, to submit to random alcohol tests and to stay away from all witnesses.
According to the Tyngsborough Police, Paulik, who was driving a small yellow school bus carrying four disabled students and two adult monitors from the Lighthouse School in Chelmsford, Mass., was tailgating when he rear-ended the minivan school bus, also carrying four students. The accident happened around 2:45 p.m. at the intersection of Middlesex and Westford roads. None of passengers in either vehicle were injured.
The school bus smashed the back window of the minivan and pushed it forward into the intersection.
The bus is owned by a Manchester-based company and Paulik was driving for Special Transit Services, STS, a subsidiary of New Hampshire Easter Seals. The minivan is registered to a company based in Westford, Mass.
Paulik will return to court on July 17 for a pretrial hearing. As of Tuesday evening, he was being held at Middlesex Jail in Cambridge, Mass.
Last month, a van carrying two students from the Lighthouse School to their homes in Worcester, Mass., was involved in a two-car crash at Drumhill Rotary on Route 3 in Chelmsford. Neither the students nor the driver were seriously injured in that accident.
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Barbara Taormina may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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