A 57-year-old school bus driver was revived with Narcan after the bus she drove carrying special needs children crashed into a tree in Newark on Wednesday, authorities said.
Lisa Byrd of East Orange was revived after police found her unconscious following the crash at 14th Avenue and Jones Street just after 1 p.m., Newark Public Safety Director Anthony Ambrose said. The bus was coming from the 14th Avenue School in Newark.
Byrd was taken to University Hospital in Newark, Ambrose said. She was placed under arrest.
The bus was carrying 12 children, between the ages of 5 and 13, Ambrose said at a news conference. The children were taken to local hospitals and later released to their parents.
“While at the scene, police officers did observe contraband, drug paraphernalia,” Ambrose said. “She appears to be under the influence of a narcotic.”
The crash in Newark came one day after a Sussex County man accused of killing three people at a Wayne gas station had to be revived with Narcan, authorities said. Jason Vanderee faces charges of manslaughter and death by auto.
“I can’t talk about what happened in Wayne, but obviously there’s a nexus, because there’s alleged drugs playing a role in this and there’s alleged drugs playing a role in that,” Ambrose said. “This epidemic is costing innocent lives. I would like to see our legislators look at it better and give more serious penalties to people that do this.”