MADISON COUNTY, Ala. (WHNT) — Court records show a Madison County School System (MCSS) bus driver accused of driving under the influence and crashing a school bus is now being sued by the other driver involved in that crash.
A spokesperson for the school system told News 19 on September 25 that a bus with 10 Sparkman Middle students on board was going through the area of Dan Crutcher Road and Wall Triana Highway when the driver had a ‘medical emergency.’
On September 26, a press release was sent out stating that after an investigation by Troopers with the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency (ALEA), the driver failed “at least one part of the field sobriety test” and was taken to the hospital for further tests.
The driver was ultimately charged with driving under the influence (other substance) by state troopers.
According to court records, a man says he was ‘severely injured’ when the bus crashed into their vehicle and is now suing Christopher Brazelton, school system employees and anyone involved who ‘failed to prevent his injuries’ for negligence. In the lawsuit, the plaintiff demands a trial by jury.
The lawsuit documents allege that school system employees checked on Brazelton and allowed him to continue driving the school bus, and/or negligently hired, trained or supervised Defendant Brazelton.
Previous court records show a man named Christopher Brazelton was arrested for driving under the influence (any substance), “near DAN CRUTCHER RD within the County of MADISON at or near WALL TRIANA HWY.”
The court documents say Brazelton was driving a 2024 PB10500, which is a school bus model, and the address of the vehicle’s owner listed on the court record is the same as the address listed online for the Madison County School System’s warehouse.
MCSS hasn’t shared the identity of the driver, stating they wouldn’t be releasing any further information at the time. ALEA also has not released the identity of the driver charged in connection with this incident, as they said it is still under investigation.
Superintendent Ken Kubik made a statement immediately following the situation, saying:
In full disclosure, a concerned resident contacted our MCSS Transportation Department earlier in the afternoon to report the bus was being driven in an unusual manner for Madison Cross Roads Elementary School. MCSS sent a trusted employee to meet the bus driver to check on them. While meeting with the driver along the way and at SMS, the employee did not observe anything unusual with the driver’s demeanor. The driver in question is experienced and has been with MCSS for a year without incident. The driver said they had not been feeling well over the weekend. After watching and talking to the driver for a few minutes, the employee allowed the driver to continue the route.
To be clear, MCSS would never knowingly allow an impaired driver to operate a school bus. MCSS is evaluating transportation procedures to prevent this from happening in the future. I assure you that this behavior has no place in our school district, and we remain steadfast in our mission to ensure the safety and well-being of students and staff.KEN KUBIK, MCSS SUPERINTENDENT
No students were injured and parents were promptly notified, the MCSS spokesperson said. MCSS officials said the bus driver’s employment status with the district is pending disciplinary review and action.
Brazelton is set to appear in court on November 7 for the DUI charge.