U.S. school bus driver accused of driving drunk, abandoning students

Lori Ann Mankos, 44, of Walnutport is charged with child endangerment

An eastern Pennsylvania school bus driver is facing a number of charges after police allege she drove erratically while under the influence of alcohol with 26 juveniles aboard, then abandoned them and the bus at a gas station.

State police in Bethlehem said Lori Ann Mankos, 44, of Walnutport is charged with child endangerment, driving under the influence, and careless and reckless driving.

Mankos was transporting 26 students for the Northampton Area School District last Friday but was alleged to have been driving erratically while under the influence, police said. She eventually parked at a Sunoco station, handed the keys to a gas station employee and walked away from the scene.

The bus and 26 juveniles were left unattended until school officials, Moore Township police and state police arrived. Mankos was later arrested at her home. A listed number for her wasn’t in service Saturday and it’s unclear whether she has an attorney.

READ MORE: Agassiz Harrison school bus driver starts petition to get seatbelts on school buses

READ MORE: Cameras catch drivers illegally passing Vancouver Island school buses

Northampton eighth-grader Stephanie Shiller told The (Allentown) Morning Call that Mankos had been transporting her and other students for two weeks. On Friday afternoon, students noticed she wasn’t following her route, missing stops and driving on the wrong side of the road, she said.

“We were freaking out,” Shiller said. “We didn’t know if she was drunk or what.”

A spokesman for the bus contractor, Cincinnati, Ohio-based First Student, told the paper that the company is cooperating with investigators. “This is not what we expect of any of our drivers,” he said.

Northampton School District Superintendent Joseph Kovalchik said officials are “extremely upset” but “very thankful” no one was hurt. He said the district has been contracting with the bus company for more than 20 years, and nothing like that has happened before.

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Finding Fish

Lake Windmerre Ambassadors seeks fishy friends

Camp Day serves coffee for a cause

Tim Hortons Camp Day Wednesday, June 5th

Taking the colours of love to the street

Students go from plan to completion on rainbow crosswalk project

Living Lakes Canada at global water conference in Spain

Columbia Valley’s Kat Hartwig, executive director attends international forum

B.C. land dispute case mirrors issue in Columbia Valley

Precedent-setting case in Okanagan has local backcountry users talking

Police say it’s “impressive” no arrests were made after Raptors celebrations

Toronto will play the Western Conference champion Golden State Warriors next

Social media giants in hot seat as politicians consider regulations in Ottawa

Committee members will also grill representatives from Facebook, Twitter

Wildfire crews watching for dangerous wind shift in High Level, Alta.

The Chuckegg Creek fire is raging out of control about three kilometres southwest of the town

UN urges Canada to take more vulnerable Mexican migrants from Central America

The request comes as the United States takes a harder line on its Mexican border

Mistrial declared in Jamie Bacon murder plot trial

Bacon was on trial for counselling to commit the murder of Person X

B.C. VIEWS: Money-laundering melodrama made for TV

Public inquiry staged to point fingers before 2021 election

Canadian homebuyers escaping high housing costs by moving to secondary cities

In British Columbia, exurbs have grown in the Hope Valley and Kamloops

Feds lay out proposed new rules for voice, video recorders in locomotives

Transport Canada wants to limit use of recorders to if a crew’s actions led to a crash

Most Read