Car collides with school bus in Menlo Park

Elementary school students uninjured

An alleged drunken driver traveling south on Middlefield Road near Survey Lane in Menlo Park collided with the left front side of a northbound Sequoia Union High School District bus carrying 32 students at about 7:30 a.m. Thursday (April 28), authorities reported.

The only injury was to the bus driver, who complained of pain in her neck and wrist, California Highway Patrol Officer Art Montiel said. The driver was shaken up and taken to a clinic, Sequoia district Superintendent Jim Lianides said in a phone interview.

The collision dealt the bus a significant blow to the front left side, and then the car sideswiped it, Lianides said. It had to be towed, as did the car, a 2006 silver Ford Fusion.

Police arrested Alberto Cuellar, 20, of Fremont on the scene and booked him into San Mateo County jail on charges of misdemeanor drunken driving, the CHP said.

The students are participants in the Tinsley Transfer program, a desegregation program begun in the late 1980s in which students from the Ravenswood City School District attend school in one of seven nearby elementary school districts, including Las Lomitas, Woodside, Portola Valley and Menlo Park districts.

The district sent a spare bus to deliver the students to their destinations, Lianides said.

Normally a drunken-driving incident that results in injuries leads to a felony charge, but a complaint of pain does not meet the injury standard, the CHP said. If injuries do turn up, the misdemeanor charge could be elevated to a felony.

Montiel said he had no information as to how fast the vehicles were going.

Asked if the bus had seat belts, Lianides said it did not and added that concerns about bus evacuation mediate against having them.

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Like this comment
Posted by misdemeanor?
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Apr 29, 2011 at 1:52 pm

Drunk driver crashing into a school bus full of kids should be an automatic felony.

Like this comment
Posted by J
a resident of Mountain View
on Apr 29, 2011 at 3:55 pm

I agree.
I also think we are too lenient on drunk drivers in general.
Drunk at 7:30am = total loser.

Like this comment
Posted by Gwen
a resident of Barron Park
on Apr 29, 2011 at 9:50 pm

Agreed. Lock him up, Throw away the key.

Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

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