The school bus driver was swaying with poor balance and smelling of alcohol when Winona County authorities responded to a crash.
The bus, with five children on board ranging from kindergarten to fifth grade, had crossed the centerline and gone off the wrong side of Fern Valley Road near Altura before it crashed into trees. None of the children from the Lewiston-Altura School District were injured.
Karl A. Herber, 54, of Rollingstone, Minn., was charged with three counts of drunken driving and child endangerment after registering a 0.09 blood alcohol level when tested more than two hours after the crash Tuesday afternoon, Winona County Chief Deputy Ron Ganrude said.
The children had been picked up by another bus and Herber had already called a tow truck when authorities arrived at 4:44 p.m.
Although the legal limit for operating a commercial vehicle is 0.04, the school district’s superintendent said district policy prohibits bus drivers from having any trace of alcohol in their systems.