UPDATED: Driver of Park City bus involved in crash charged with DUI
A Park City transit system bus driver is facing criminal charges after, authorities say, he was under the influence of alcohol when he drove a bus off the road into a creek Saturday morning with a passenger on board.
Jason Benjamin Parker, 43 and from Coalville, is facing one class B misdemeanor count of DUI, as well as one count of failure to operate in a single lane, an infraction, court documents show.
The accident happened at around 8 a.m. Saturday on Homestead Road in Jeremy Ranch between Rasmussen Road and Interstate 80. Parker and a single passenger escaped the incident without injury.
The bus leaked diesel fuel into East Canyon Creek, but county officials referred to the leak as “minor.” Emergency crews and officials with the Summit County Health Department responded to the scene.
Parker told the authorities that he fell asleep at the wheel, according to a report from the Summit County Sheriff’s Office. He also told deputies he had consumed alcohol the night before but stopped drinking at 11 p.m. Friday.
Park City Manager Diane Foster said in a prepared statement released Sunday that Parker has been relieved of his duties. Park City Transit hired Parker on a part-time basis in 2016, and he became a seasonal employee in 2018. During his time of employment, he held a valid commercial driver’s license with no restrictions or violations, Foster said.
According to Foster, drivers and mechanics hired by Park City Transit are required to pass a background test. They also must pass pre-employment drug and alcohol screenings, as well as random and post-accident tests. Transit employees are prohibited from reporting to work with drugs or alcohol in their system.
Parker was arrested by the Sheriff’s Office and released on $1,580 bond, according to court documents.
Homestead Road just north of I-80 was closed for about two hours Saturday morning while crews removed the bus from the bank of the creek. Drivers were rerouted to Kimball Junction.
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Most of the $5.1 million increase over last year’s budget is from an increase in grant funding for the Health Department.