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.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

UPDATE: Algae bloom in Shuswap Lake determined to be non-toxic

Interior Health maintains people should not drink untreated water

4 inmates at Okanagan Correctional Centre granted early release due to COVID-19

The move, which impacts offenders serving intermittent sentences, is to prevent spread of virus

Canadian police to make home visits to enforce mandatory quarantine for travellers

Police forces have been asked to help verify Canadians are complying with the Quarantine Act

COVID-19: Dairy association wants Okanagan-Shuswap milk supply to flow smoothly

Changes to consumer demand from pandemic have left thousands of litres of B.C. milk being dumped

South Shuswap residents say Balmoral Road intersection improvements could be better

Reliance on frontage roads along Trans-Canada Highway and narrow underpasses criticized

VIDEO: Easter festivities may be scaled back, but it can still be a fun holiday

COVID-19 circumstances have dictated that the holidays may not be perfect

Shuswap history in pictures: The lady on the house

Photograph raises several questions for Salmon Arm Museum

Okanagan drive-in movie theatre plans to open amid COVID-19

Enderby theatre making a number of operational changes to further enable social distancing

Letter: Community newspapers help keep readers connected

Writer grateful for Observer at time when residents are sheltering in place

Column: Making the most of this new normal

Opening our eyes by Nan Dickie

Hitchcock classic a parable for our times

‘You fools, stop thinking of yourselves, think of the boat’

COVID-19 world update: U.S. to start antibody tests; drones enforce lockdown in Italy

Comprehensive update of coronavirus news from around the world

Lower Mainland hunting store sees 200% increase in firearm sales

Co-owner of Wanstalls says increase due to a variety of reasons

Most Read