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.

Just Posted

Fraser Valley Thunderbirds advance to BCMML final

T-birds eliminate Okanagan Rockets, take on Cariboo Cougars in final this weekend

South Surrey wrestler wins pair of national titles

Ana Godinez Gonzalez tops field at junior, senior championships in Saskatoon

Abbotsford Hospice Society hosts annual Butterfly Ball

Event takes place Saturday, April 6 at Quality Hotel and Conference Centre

Electronic devices destroyed for free at Abbotsford event

Police partner with Electronic Recycling Association to dispose of unwanted items

Hikers alert after woman approached by suspicious man in Harrison Mills

The woman and her family were hiking in the wetlands between Rowena’s Inn and Sts’ailes First Nation

VIDEO: Creativ Festival comes to Abbotsford

Event highlighting crafts takes over Tradex on Friday and Saturday

B.C. river cleanup crew finds bag of discarded sex toys

Chilliwack volunteers stumble on unexpected find while removing 600 lbs of trash from riverway

Trudeau sells housing plan in visit to hot real estate market in B.C.

Trudeau said the budget contains measures to help first-time buyers

Norway opens probe into why cruise ship ventured into storm

The Viking Sky was headed for southern Norway when it had engine problems on Saturday afternoon

Crash threatens Vancouver shipyard’s schedule for new coast guard ships

The delivery of the vessel was already years overdue

Fired B.C. farmland commission chair backs NDP rule changes

Richard Bullock agrees with Lana Popham, ALC records don’t

Michael Dunahee’s disappearance remains the largest probe in Victoria police history

The four-year old Victoria boy went missing without a trace on March 24, 1991

Kamloops chamber of commerce director let go after controversial Facebook posts

Facebook account had derogatory comments about Muslims, Justin Trudeau

B.C. RCMP officer cleared after Taser incident seriously injures woman

Woman with knives refused to comply with orders therefore officer used appropriate level of force

Most Read