Written by Karen Gellender Friday, 12 October 2012 08:06
There were five children on board.
The Massapequa Park man, age 66, was operating a 2006 Ford school bus northbound on Teibrook Avenue when the vehicle left the roadway and struck a residence, police said. The children, ages 9, 9, 8, 6 and 5 were on board the bus but were not injured. No one was home at the residence when the accident occurred. The children were taken off the bus by school staff and returned to St. Edward the Confessor School.
The Syosset Fire Department and units from the Nassau County Police Department’s Second Precinct responded to the scene. The Bethpage Fire Department’s Technical Rescue Team (TRT) was called to the scene to tend to the garage, which sustained heavy structural damage.
Flowers was airlifted to an area hospital where he was admitted for non-life threatening injuries. Subsequent investigation revealed the defendant was operating the vehicle under the influence of an alcoholic beverage, police said. The school bus is registered to First Student, located at 251 North Main Street in Freeport.
According to Detective Vincent Garcia, officers at the scene suspected that Flowers was inebriated, a fact Garcia said was later confirmed by a blood test (although Garcia did not disclose his blood alcohol level.) Garcia stated that the bus driver had no prior arrest record in Nassau County, and that the NCPD was still investigating.
Flowers was charged with five counts of aggravated driving while intoxicated (under Leandra’s Law, which states that DUI accidents with children involved are considered more serious), five counts of endangering the welfare of a child, five counts of reckless endangerment and two counts of driving while intoxicated. He was arraigned on Thursday, Oct. 4. Bail was set at $50,000 cash or bond. He was due back in court Oct. 10, and is represented by Thomas H. Spreer, Esq. If convicted, Flowers faces up to four years in prison.
“It’s appalling,” said Garcia. “It’s a miracle that none of those children were hurt.”