School bus driver charged with DUI Wednesday morning

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Image of the scene by viewer Lisa Freeman. Mugshot of Michael Ledbetter via the Rhea Co. Sheriff's Office. (NewsChannel9)

RHEA COUNTY, Tenn. — The Rhea County Sheriff’s Office has confirmed that a school bus driver was charged with DUI Wednesday morning.

The incident happened shortly after 8 a.m. on Highway 27, just north of Rhea Medical Center.

Detective Rocky Potter says several students on the bus texted their parents that the driver was driving erratically. School bus dispatchers contacted the driver and asked him to pull over and wait for police.

Officer Tony Moore gave the driver, Mike Ledbetter, a field sobriety test, which Potter says he failed.

Photo by viewer Lisa Freeman. (via News Channel 9)

Viewer Lisa Freeman shared photos of the scene with us, which show several law enforcement vehicles and a second bus that was picking up kids.

After 10 a.m., Ledbetter was booked in the Rhea County Jail on charges of DUI with a child under 18 and drug paraphernalia.

Rhea County Superintendent Jerry Levengood told parents in a recorded message that Ledbetter was immediately fired. He also told us that Ledbetter was hired in December, 2017, and had no previous issues until today.

Potter says “because of the incident in Chattanooga, everyone is aware of these type of things. As a parent, it is concerning.”

Follow the story on News Channel 9, Chattanooga’s #1 Source for News, who broke the story this morning.

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