News Department

School bus driver found guilty of 27 counts of child endangerment for operating a school bus while intoxicated in Sussex County sentenced to 14 years in state prison

NEWTON, NJ (Sussex County) — A school bus driver who was found guilty of 27 counts of child endangerment for operating a school bus while intoxicated in Sussex County last year has been sentenced to 14 years in state prison, according to Acting Sussex County Prosecutor Carolyn A. Murray.

Colleen M. Eutermarks was sentenced on June 6 before Superior Court Judge Michael C. Gaus to a 14 year term of incarceration in New Jersey State Prison. She was also given a lifetime forfeiture of her commercial driver’s license, Murray said.

On Jan. 28, 2022, Eutermarks was observed operating a full-sized yellow school bus erratically on County Road 565 in Frankford Township and was eventually stopped by the New Jersey State Police, Murray said.

Upon contact with Eutermarks, troopers determined that she displayed various signs of impairment. Subsequently thereafter, it was determined that she was under the influence of alcohol and was subsequently arrested, Murray said.

At the NJ State Police Barracks, she provided a breath sample indicating that her blood alcohol content (BAC) was .34 which was over 8 times the legal limit of .04 BAC as permitted for a person to operate a commercial vehicle such as a bus, Murray said.

Upon further investigation by the New Jersey State Police, it was determined that Eutermarks had picked up students from both Wallkill Regional High School and Franklin Elementary School while operating the bus intoxicated. Through the investigation, it was determined she had transported a total of 27 students while intoxicated, Murray said.

Eutermarks was charged and convicted of 27 separate counts of child endangerment for each student that she transported while intoxicated. Each count consists of a second-degree crime which carries the possibility of five to ten years in state prison, Murray said.

“The sentence of the Court clearly held Ms. Eutermarks accountable for her terrible decision making on January 28, 2022. It also sent a strong message that there are serious criminal consequences of operating a school bus while under the influence which are far beyond the consequences of a Driving While Intoxicated charge.” Murray said.

The trial lasted approximately 2 weeks and the State called all of the troopers who had investigated the incident to the stand. The jury was also able to view various evidence in this case which included the Body Worn Camera videos, Murray said.

The case was prosecuted by Acting First Assistant Prosecutor Sahil Kabse . Defense attorney for Eutermarks at the trial level was George T. Daggett, Esq.(Sparta, NJ) and her attorney at the sentencing level was Jay V. Surgent, Esq.

Jay Edwards

Born and raised in Northwest NJ, Jay has a degree in Communications and has had a life-long interest in local radio and various styles of music. Jay has held numerous jobs over the years such as stunt car driver, bartender, voice-over artist, traffic reporter (award winning), NY Yankee maintenance crewmember and peanut farm worker. His hobbies include mountain climbing, snowmobiling, cooking, performing stand-up comedy and he is an avid squirrel watcher. Jay has been a guest on America’s Morning Headquarters,program on The Weather Channel, and was interviewed by Sam Champion.

Related Articles

Back to top button