FRANKLIN COUNTY, Ala. (WHNT) – Toxicology results have been released for a former Franklin County bus driver facing a DUI charge and dozens of reckless driving charges.
Rhonda Barksdale was arrested and charged with driving under the influence and 40 counts of reckless endangerment on September 16. She is facing one charge of reckless endangerment for each child aboard her bus that day.
A blood sample was taken at the hospital and sent to the Alabama Department of Forensic Science for analysis. Franklin County Sheriff Shannon Oliver confirmed the results of that bloodwork showed Barksdale was under the influence of multiple drugs, including ethanol, amphetamine, Clonazepam, and Zolpidem (Ambien).
Sheriff Oliver said deputies multiple received calls that day from other drivers about the school bus driver driving erratically in the Tharptown community. Oliver said one caller reported that they were almost hit head-on by the bus. Another driver was able to get the bus to stop and prevented Barksdale from continuing the route until deputies arrived on the scene.
The sheriff’s office said while Barksdale was checked out by EMS and medically cleared, she failed a field sobriety test.
Franklin County Schools Superintendent Greg Hamilton recommended firing Barksdale and the board of education agreed to her termination.