TAUNTON, MASS. (WHDH) - A Warren, Rhode Island, woman accused of being drunk behind the wheel when she triggered a violent bus crash in Berkley that left several people, including children, seriously injured was arraigned Monday in Taunton District Court.
Christy Gilpatrick, 27, pleaded not guilty to charges including operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol, second offense, negligent operation of a motor vehicle, and operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol resulting in serious bodily injury.
She was ordered held on $2,500 cash bail.
Authorities say about 23 people ranging in age from infants to elderly adults were on board the school bus when it crashed into the woods along Route 24 on Saturday. Several adults, including some children, suffered serious injuries including broken ribs, a broken jaw, crushed vertebrae, and blood in the lungs.
“When we got there, there were approximately 25 of the patients on the ground spread out,” Berkley Fire Chief Scott Fournier said. “The injuries were anything from broken arms to head injuries, facial injuries. We’re not sure, but the possibility of a collapsed lung.”
While speaking with police, Gilpatrick allegedly admitted to drinking before the crash, failed a series of field sobriety tests at the scene, and twice registered a blood alcohol content that was nearly twice the legal limit.
Prosecutors say Gilpatrick left her lane, hit a black car and caused that vehicle to swerve in front of the bus, which caused it to veer off the road and into the woods.
Police say the group on the bus was returning to Tiverton, Rhode Island from a popular Christmas festival in Attleboro.
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