PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — A local school bus driver faced with drunken driving and child endangerment charges appeared in court Wednesday.
Martin Hehman, 68, appeared before District Judge Suzanne Blaschak at 1 p.m. and waived his preliminary hearing.
“He’s not the type of man that would do anything to put kids in danger,” Hehman’s defense attorney, Charles Porter, said. “He is a father, a grandfather — he is a good man by all counts.”
Last month, Hehman, a school bus driver for Monark Transportation, picked up 15 students and drove them to St. Ursula Catholic School in Allison Park.
Minutes after dropping them off, he was observed driving erratically on Route 8 northbound and eventually crashing into a guard rail.
A Hampton Township Police officer intercepted the bus at the Wildwood Road intersection. According to the officer, Hehman was allegedly impaired.
He was slurring his words, had poor balance and smelled like alcohol. Hehman told the officer he’d only had something to drink at about 8 p.m. the night before. He failed several field sobriety tests. He was then arrested and taken for blood alcohol tests.
“I believe that’s what the evidence would show, that any alcohol consumption was from the night before, and without his recognizing that, he was still at a level above the legal limit,” Porter said.
The lab results showed that Hehman’s blood alcohol level was .138. The standard legal limit is .08, and the limit for a school bus driver is .02.
“It appears he had a lapse in judgement,” Porter said. “Fortunately, there was nobody hurt, and he wants to move on with his life.”
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