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School bus driver facing 42 charges, including DUI, after crashing while taking kids home

PICKENS COUNTY, Ga. — A Pickens County school bus driver is in custody after crashing the bus he was driving while taking kids home from school.

Georgia State Patrol says 59-year-old Jeffrey Tucker was driving down Fortner Road at 4:30 p.m. on Friday afternoon when he drove off the road and into a ditch near McGinnis Acres.

GSP troopers say several students were on the bus during the crash, but were not hurt.

Channel 2′s Veronica Griffin was in Pickens County on Saturday, where Tucker is being held in Pickens County Jail.

Witnesses said some of the 40 students on board were asleep when the crash happened.

“It was just kind of overwhelming. 40 screaming kids and you don’t know what to do. It’s scary,” Jesse Stevens said.

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Investigators say Tucker was drunk at the time of the crash.

The Pickens County School District released a statement on Friday saying that Tucker was charged with driving under the influence, failure to maintain lane and 40 counts of reckless conduct.

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“The District takes this matter very seriously; student safety is our highest priority and utmost concern. Once law enforcement has completed its investigation, we will conduct our own to review the facts and circumstances surrounding this egregious event,” the District’s statement read.

The school district has not commented on what the arrest will mean for Tucker’s employment status.

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