A school bus driver in Blaine has been charged with reckless driving and other traffic offenses after she was found to be on her cellphone while driving and letting chaos reign on the bus.
Brenda Carsten, 39, was charged in Anoka County District Court. The Blaine City Attorney’s Office charged her by summons with more than a dozen misdemeanor and gross-misdemeanor charges of child endangerment.
Her first court appearance is June 6.
The charges stem from video and audio taken on the bus on Feb. 6 showing Carsten not wearing a seat belt, allowing children to move around the bus while it was on the road, swerving the bus in and out of traffic lanes and onto the shoulder of the road, turning into oncoming traffic and talking about her personal life with the students.
The complaint said Carsten used foul language with the students and gave them “an inappropriate life lesson.”
The video shows that Carsten was texting on her cellphone with one hand, had both hands off the steering wheel and was looking up “your mama” jokes on her phone. At one point, she handed the cellphone to a student to read the jokes aloud over the bus intercom.
Carsten’s actions came to light when a parent complained. Lorenz Bus Co. fired her after an investigation. The bus company contacted the State Patrol and police.
She faces 15 separate charges; 14 are misdemeanors, one is a gross misdemeanor.