School bus driver charged with DUI while student was aboard

By Patrick Kernan - [email protected]
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WHITE HAVEN — An area school bus driver is behind bars after police say she was driving her bus while under the influence of a controlled substance with a child on board.

Cindy Louise Keil, 42, of White Haven, was pulled over May 5 in the area of Red Shale Pit and Middleburg roads by a borough officer after he noticed the passenger headlight on the bus was out.

A criminal complaint does not specify which district Keil drove for, but White Haven is within the boundaries of the Crestwood School District, according to district solicitor Jack Dean.

According to the complaint:

The officer noticed Keil’s eyes were glassy, her speech was slurred, her hands, feet and voice were shaky and she was sweating excessively. She also had a large burn on her left forearm.

Keil said she knew the headlight was out. The officer asked her to step out of the bus, but Keil refused, saying she could not get off because a child was on board. The child was apparently being dropped off on Tunnel Road.

Keil refused another request to get off the bus, instead radioing a manager to report what was going on.

The officer spoke with the manager over the radio, saying Keil needed to get off the bus. At this point, Keil walked down the steps of the bus. The officer tried to grab Keil’s hand, which she pulled away before running back up the stairs, saying she wasn’t allowed to get off the bus.

At this point, the officer placed Keil under arrest.

Keil performed two field sobriety tests. During the “walk-and-turn” test, Keil did not touch her feet heel to toe and did not make a proper turn. Then, when told to stand on one foot for 30 seconds, she counted to 11 seconds before quitting the test.

She also refused to go for chemical testing.

Dean did not confirm if Keil was driving for the Crestwood School District at the time of her arrest, saying all busing for the district is done by the Rinehimer Bus Company. However, Dean did say that a Rinehimer driver was removed from Crestwood service at the behest of the school district Tuesday night.

Attempts to reach Rinehimer for comment were unsuccessful Wednesday, with a phone number continuously ringing without going to voicemail.

Keil was arraigned Tuesday night. She was charged with misdemeanor counts of endangering the welfare of children, resisting arrest and driving under the influence, along with a summary traffic count for driving without a headlight.

Her bail was set at $7,500. Records show she was unable to post bail. Her preliminary hearing is set for May 31.

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By Patrick Kernan

[email protected]