Thursday, April 15, 2004

College student charged with DUI after hitting bus



By Brenna R. Kelly
The Cincinnati Enquirer

UNION - A 19-year-old Thomas More College student hit a school bus while driving drunk Wednesday morning, minutes after he had dropped off two students at school, the Boone County Sheriff's Office said.

None of the 26 students on the bus riding to Ryle High School was injured in the accident on Frogtown Road just after 7 a.m., said sheriff's spokesman Tom Scheben.

Jered Ferguson was driving a 1996 Toyota Camry east on Frogtown Road after dropping off one student at Gray Middle School and one at Ryle High School, Scheben said.

Ferguson ran off the right side of the road, then overcorrected and crossed the center line, hitting the oncoming school bus, Scheben said.

Sheriff's deputies credit the bus driver, Bobby Hubbard, with minimizing the impact of the accident.

"He saw this car coming toward him, so he took evasive action," Scheben said. "Instead of a head-on (crash), it was more of a glancing blow."

The car hit the right front of the school bus, which Hubbard, 46, of Florence, had steered toward a ditch to avoid the car.

Ferguson and his passenger, Dane Hill, 21, of Walton, were not injured.

Ferguson, of Flatwoods, was charged with driving under the influence and 28 counts of wanton endangerment. Ferguson, a freshman who plays basketball for Thomas More, had a blood-alcohol level of 0.157, almost twice the limit of 0.08 at which a person is presumed impaired under Kentucky law and nearly eight times the limit of 0.02 at which the law presumes a person under 21 is impaired.

If convicted, Ferguson could lose his license for 30 days to six months and have to retake the driver's test to get a new license.

Hill was charged with alcohol intoxication. He was released from jail Wednesday afternoon.

Ferguson was being held at the Boone County Jail Wednesday night on $10,000 bond.

E-mail bkelly@enquirer.com




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