School bus driver charged with DWI while transporting kids from a Va. pumpkin patch

A school bus driver who crashed while driving dozens of D.C. students back to school after a field trip to a Fairfax County, Virginia, farm Thursday has been charged with driving while intoxicated, police said.

Fairfax County Police said 44 students and four adults from Ben Murch Elementary in D.C., were being bused back to school after going to a pumpkin patch at Cox Farms in Centreville, Virginia, when the charter bus driver veered off the road, struck a rock and blew out a back tire.

Staff members aboard the bus convinced the driver, 48-year-old Troy Reynolds of Oxon Hill, Maryland, to pull over in a Chantilly parking lot and they called 911, according to police.

When arriving to the scene in the 1500 block of Conference Center Drive, police said they quickly noticed the smell of alcohol coming from Reynolds. A blood alcohol test showed the driver had a blood alcohol content level  of 0.20, 2 1/2 times the legal limit of 0.08.

In addition to being charged with multiple counts of DWI, Reynolds was charged with child endangerment.

This is Reynold’s second DWI charge, police said, and he’s being held on no bond.

Another bus driver on the trip was cited for not having a valid commercial driving license. And police said a third bus driver who came to assist after Reynolds’ arrest was cited for not having the right license to drive the bus.

There were no injuries reported, and those aboard the bus were transported to a police training facility in Chantilly to await backup transportation.

“DCPS takes this incident very seriously, and our teams will do a thorough review of our transportation vendors to ensure that student safety is always prioritized,” tweeted Lewis D. Ferebee, chancellor of D.C. Public Schools. “We are incredibly thankful that no one sustained injuries during this frightening incident.”

Police said no alcohol was found on the bus.

Dana Sukontarak

Dana Sukontarak is a Digital Writer/Editor for She loves haiku poetry, short sci-fi stories and word games. She grew up in Prince George’s County, Maryland, and currently lives in Silver Spring.

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