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.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

COVID-19: Central Mountain Air suspending flights, effective April 11

The airline is suspending scheduled flights through to June 7

UPDATED: Rocky Mountaineer delays season until July 1

The popular luxury train had previously suspended operations through April due to COVID-19

COVID-19: Four weeks of downtime coming for Cariboo Pulp and Paper mill employees

West Fraser announces additional temporary production reductions in response to COVID-19

COVID-19: Caring for your mental health during a global pandemic

Canadian Mental Health Association Quesnel offers advice, resources to deal with anxiety and stress

Quesnel family pinning autism awareness onto community

Laura and Matthew Hender have sold thousands of autism awareness pins over the past eight years

COVID-19: 4 new deaths, 25 new cases but only in Vancouver Coastal, Fraser Health

A total of 1,291 people have tested positive for the novel coronavirus

COVID-19: Don’t get away for Easter weekend, Dr. Bonnie Henry warns

John Horgan, Adrian Dix call 130 faith leaders as holidays approach

COVID-19: Trudeau says 30K ventilators on the way; 3.6M Canadians claim benefits

Canada has seen more than 17,000 cases and at least 345 deaths due to COVID-19

RCMP call on kids to name latest foal recruits

The baby horses names are to start with the letter ‘S’

As Canadians return home amid pandemic, border crossings dip to just 5% of usual traffic

Non-commercial land crossing dipped by 95%, air travel dropped by 96 per cent, according to the CBSA

Logan Boulet Effect: Green Shirt Day calls on Canadians to become organ donors

While social distancing, the day also honours the 16 lives lost in the 2018 Humboldt Broncos Crash

COMMENTARY: Knowing where COVID-19 cases are does not protect you

Dr. Bonnie Henry explains why B.C. withholds community names

B.C. wide burning restrictions come into effect April 16

‘Larger open burns pose an unnecessary risk and could detract from wildfire detection’

Most Read