PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – Police have charged a Pittsburgh Public Schools employee with driving a school van while under the influence of medication or some other kind of drug.
Deborah Schrader couldn’t believe what she saw Thursday after 11 a.m.
Her coworker, 37-year-old William Jester, was arrested right outside of Pittsburgh Board of Public Education – where the two work – for allegedly driving under the influence.
“I come down and there’s all these police down here and they’re patting him down, looking in the van,” said Schrader.
According to the criminal complaint, Jester was driving a gray school district service vehicle when authorities noticed him crossing into the oncoming lane of traffic several times near Browns Hill Road.
Investigators with the county detectives’ office called 911 and followed Jester’s van as he got onto the Parkway, swerving from lane to lane, nearly slamming into several cars, the criminal complaint reports.
When Jester got off the Bates Street exit, the criminal complaint says he ran a red light and made a left-hand turn from the right lane onto 10th Street. After parking the van in front of the central operations building, he could barely walk.
Pittsburgh Public School District spokesperson Ebony Pugh released this statement:
“Yesterday, a District employee, driving a District vehicle, was pulled over by City Police suspected of driving under the influence. The employee does not transport students. The incident took place near Muriel Street on the South Side. The employee has been suspended with pay pending further investigation.”
Police say it wasn’t alcohol, but allegedly medications or narcotics that caused Jester to drive so erratically. Schrader says Jester has had health problems and takes medication.
“Hopefully, they’ll give him another chance to come back to work and get into a program that can help him if he’s over-medicated or something.”