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School bus driver Cherry Banks describes crash involving drunk mom

1:00 PM, Dec 4, 2013   |    comments
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St. Petersburg, FL -- A regular work day quickly turned dangerous after a school bus was hit by a drunk driver. 

Parents trust school buses to transport students to and from school safely.  The bus drivers do what they can to protect their precious cargo, but sometimes it's just out of their control.  

Cherry Banks has been picking up and dropping off students every day for the past 19 years, but Tuesday afternoon was dangerously different.

"I was just driving along 30th Avenue and all of the traffic stopped and all of a sudden ... a car just came up behind me, full speed, probably about 35-40. And it just hit me from the rear," said Banks.  

According to Police, Nancy Engel, also known as Nancy Kavallierakis, was behind the wheel and driving drunk, heading eastbound on 30th Avenue N when she rear-ended the school bus.  Her 3-year-old son was in the car and Banks had three teenagers on the bus. 

Fortunately, no one was hurt.  But Engel is now facing DUI charges for the third time.

"I just hope she thinks about what she did and you know, and now try it again, because next time it might be her life or someone else's," said Banks.

Banks' supervisor says this was just an unfortunate accident and says Banks is one of his safer drivers.

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