School bus driver overdoses, crashes with children on board

Posted at 8:06 AM, Feb 21, 2019
and last updated 2019-02-21 10:06:54-05
Lisa Byrd
Photo of 57-year-old Lisa Byrd

NEWARK N.J. (CNN) – A school bus driver had to be revived after authorities said she overdosed behind the wheel and crashed while students were onboard.

Lisa Byrd, 57, was hospitalized after first responders found her unconscious at the scene. They used Narcan to revive her.

Twelve special needs students were onboard the bus, but none of them were hurt. Witnesses said the bus hit a tree.

“I looked away and I looked back, the bus was rolling very slow,” said Sharod Jones, who witnessed the crash. “There was another man, he just stopped, he was just, like, stopping traffic, like ‘yo so the bus can go.’ And she crashed into the tree very soft.”

Police said they found evidence that she was under the influence when they arrived at the scene.

“Police officers did observe contraband, drug paraphernalia,” said Anthony Ambrose, Newark public safety director. “She appears to be under the influence of a narcotic.”

Byrd is facing multiple charges, including child endangerment, drug possession and driving while impaired.