DUNEDIN — A 48-year-old Pasco County woman ran a red light and rear-ended a school bus of elementary-age children while it was stopped on Thursday morning, according to the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office.
None of the more than three dozen students onboard was injured when the white Chrysler plunged into the back of their school bus, deputies said.
Deputies arrested the Chrysler's driver, Donna Lynne Jones, on charges of DUI, open container, no proof of insurance, careless driving and introduction of contraband into a secure facility.
The crash took place just before 8:20 a.m., deputies said, near the intersection of State Road 580 and Overcash Drive. The bus was headed to Garrison Jones Elementary School at the time. According to witnesses, Jones' Chrysler was driving on westbound S.R. 580 when it ran a red light at the intersection and slammed into the bus, which was stopped at the Virginia Street intersection.
Jones appeared to be impaired, deputies said, but they didn't think alcohol was the problem. Instead, Jones told them she had taken several prescription painkillers, deputies said.
Deputies said, however, that they did find an open alcoholic beverage container in her vehicle. Deputies are awaiting the results of tests to determine what kind of drugs she was using. When Jones was booked into the Pinellas County jail, deputies said, guards found a crack pipe hidden in her clothes.
Jones, of 15723 Donzi Dr. in Hudson, was being held late Thursday in the Pinellas County jail in lieu of $11,500 bail.