More charges coming for bus driver charged with DUI - WKRN News 2

More charges coming for bus driver charged with DUI

Posted: Updated: March 31, 2014 04:05 PM
Jeffery Layne, 53, was arrested Friday at Stewartsboro Elementary School in Smyrna. Jeffery Layne, 53, was arrested Friday at Stewartsboro Elementary School in Smyrna.
SMYRNA, Tenn. -

A Rutherford County school bus driver is suspended indefinitely following a DUI arrest last week just moments after he finished his afternoon bus route.

Jeffery Layne was arrested Friday at Stewartsboro Elementary School in Smyrna after authorities tracked him down in connection to a hit-and-run in his personal car earlier in the afternoon.

The woman involved in the crash with Layne provided his license plate number to police and told them Layne told her he was a school bus driver.

Police contacted the Rutherford County School district.

According to Rutherford County's Sherriff's Department, the school resource officer for Stewartsboro Elementary boarded Layne's bus to check to see if there were kids on the bus.

When the SRO started talking to Layne he reported smelling alcohol and then asked Layne to take a field sobriety test, which RCSO officials told News 2 Layne performed poorly on in the school's parking lot.

He was charged with DUI by the RCSO and leaving the scene of an accident by Murfreesboro police because the hit-and-run crash happened in Murfreesboro.

Layne, 53, did not come to the door when News 2 went to his Murfreesboro home Monday to ask him about his arrest.

Around 40 children were on the bus Layne was driving Friday afternoon.

Bus rider Gracie Rowlett told News 2 Layne was driving erratically Friday.

"He was kind of drifting off the road," she recalled. "We had to yell at him a couple of times to move over."

Rowlett is a fifth grader at Stewartsboro Elementary. She said Layne seemed off when she boarded the bus.

"His eyes were kind of red and when we got on the bus we could smell that he drank beer," she said.

Rutherford County Schools notified parents of children on Layne's bus about his arrest Friday evening.

Mike McClellan is Rowlett's stepfather.

"I don't guess he realized the lives he had on that bus," he said. "I think he should be charged with reckless endangerment."

Sheriff's officials said Layne is facing more charges, but did not specify what the additional charges would be against him.

News 2 did some checking on Layne's driving record and criminal history.

Friday is his first DUI arrest and other than a crash in 2006 when he was rear ended he does not have other wrecks on his record.

School officials said Layne passed all required background checks in February 2013 before he was allowed to drive a school bus as a contractor for an owner-operator of bus No. 110.

"We understand that parents will be shocked and concerned about this troubling news, and the school district is equally shocked and concerned about the charges against the driver," The school district said in a written statement Friday.

Rutherford County Schools uses independent contractors to provide bus service for students.

Layne is free on $5,500 bond. He is due in court May 19.

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