HOUSTON — The local school bus driver accused of transporting students while intoxicated is out on bond.
Linda Sue Godejohn, 55, is charged with driving while intoxicated. She was released Friday from the Harris County jail after posting a $100 bail.
Investigators said Godejohn was stopped about 2:15 p.m. Thursday after the Harris County Pct. 4 Constable's Office received reports that a school bus transporting children was driving erratically. At one point, a caller reported the bus almost flipped over on the roadway.
It was later confirmed the students were from YES Prep Public Schools. Godejohn is a First Student Bus Company employee, a bus vendor contracted by YES Prep Public Schools.
When constable deputies caught up with the bus, investigators said the suspect had already unloaded the students off the bus. Godejohn allegedly showed several signs of intoxication and failed a standardized filed sobriety test. Investigators got a warrant for a blood test. It has been delivered to the Harris County Medical Examiner's Office for analysis.
She told officers she didn't feel well but refused to be taken to the hospital, according to the Pct. 4 Constable's Office.
“I wasn’t [drunk.] My stomach was just hurting so bad that my wheel fell off the curve,” she said Friday. “And then it was, just going at 45 mph, it’s going to whip back.”
Moments after her released, Godejohn told Morning Dose reporter Courtney Carpenter she was not drunk contrary to what police reported. She claims she had a stomachache, possibly from eating a doughnut from the school.
“I do not drink. I haven’t drank in years,” she told reporters outside the jail. “I’ve never been in trouble a day in my life, but now.”
YES Prep Public Schools released the following statement regarding the incident:
YES Prep Public Schools has learned that a contracted bus driver was pulled over for driving erratically and then taken into custody for suspicion of driving while intoxicated. If these allegations prove true, we are furious that this driver put our students in harm’s way.
The bus driver is employed by First Student Bus Company – a bus vendor contracted by YES Prep – and is not a YES Prep employee. All of First Student Bus Company’s drivers undergo regular finger printing and rigorous background checks. If she is formally charged, she will never again be behind the wheel of a YES Prep-contracted bus.
We entrust our contracted bus drivers to get children home safely and without incident. Our top priority will always be the safety and well-being of our students – in and out of the classroom.
“They’ve been riding all year long, nothing has changed,” Godejohn said when asked to comment about the concerned parents.