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Paterson School Bus Driver Charged with Drunk Driving School Bus Filled with Children

By rlsmetro on

By: Richard L. Smith 


Authorities in Passaic County reported that Mr. Juan Gonzalez, 51, from Paterson, was arrested after an investigation conducted by the Passaic County Sheriff’s Department.

Juan Gonzalez has been charged with 42 counts of Endangering the Welfare of a Child, second-degree.

Officials said Mr. Gonzalez has also been charged with the motor vehicle offenses of Driving Under the Influence and Leaving the Scene of an Accident.

According to Passaic County officials, on Friday, November 4, at approximately 8:45 A.M., members of the Passaic County Sheriff’s Department were notified about a possible hit-and-run motor vehicle collision involving a school bus transporting high school students to Passaic County Technical Institute in Wayne. 

Police say, based on the investigation, the bus was involved in a collision with a parked vehicle in the area of McBride Avenue and Squirrelwood Road in Woodland Park. 

No injuries were reported to the children on the bus during the motor vehicle accident. Police concluded that the bus driver, Juan Gonzalez of Paterson, was under the influence of an intoxicating substance at the time of the collision.

The sentencing exposure for Mr. Juan Gonzalez for each count of Endangering the welfare of a child Second Degree is 5-10 years in New Jersey State Prison, for Driving Under the Influence, it is up to 30 days in the County Jail and for Leaving the Scene of an Accident, it is up to 30 days in the County Jail.

The investigation remains active and ongoing. More information will be released once it becomes available. Juan Gonzalez will be seen at Central Judicial Processing Court (CJP) on November 5, 2022, at 1:30 p.m. and will be released on conditions.

Officials said Mr. Gonzalez’s next court date is December 1, 2022.    A criminal complaint is merely an accusation. Despite this accusation, defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

The Passaic County Prosecutor’s Office asks anyone with additional information about this incident to contact us on our tips line at 1-877-370-PCPO or or contact the Passaic County Sheriff Department Tip Line at 1-888-958-TIPS (8477).