Van Driver Facing Charges for Driving Under Influence of Drugs With Student

Police said Shawn McCarthy, 48, of Exeter, New Hampshire, had been driving in an "erratic manner" with a 13-year-old student

A Massachusetts driver is facing a number of charges after police say he allegedly operated a van under the influence of drugs while transporting a juvenile student.

Shawn McCarthy, 48, of Exeter, New Hampshire, was arrested at about 5:30 p.m. Thursday on charges of OUI drugs, negligent operation of a vehicle, possession of a Class E substance, and reckless endangerment of a child.

Police said he had been driving a van in an "erratic manner" with a 13-year-old student.

Melissa Franklin, the student's mother, said her daughter was begging the NRT Bus Inc. driver to pull over after he got into a collision.

"She just kept crying and screaming and yelling for me to come get her," Franklin said.

The student said he had been speeding before they hit a sign and collided with a guardrail somewhere on their route.

After begging him to pull over, McCarthy finally did in the parking lot of a Walgreen's. That's when Franklin said her daughter grabbed McCarthy's cellphone and called her mother.

"She was extremely hysterical, extremely emotional. We had to get her to calm down to get her to breathe," Franklin said. "Find out where she was located and what happened."

When police arrived they said he was slurring his speech, he was lethargic and appeared to be unaware he had been in a crash. He had trouble completing sobriety tests.

"He wasn't able to put sentences together," Franklin said.

McCarthy said he couldn't explain what happened and said his blood sugar was low. Authorities said they found six pills believed to be Ambien inside the vehicle.

The student was taken to an area hospital for treatment of minor injuries.

"My concern is basically her. She's very shaken up about it," said Franklin. "It was more traumatizing emotionally and mentally for her. She's got minor injuries but she's doing OK."

NRT Bus Inc. said McCarthy has been suspended. They also said he was a great employee and had passed all of his background checks and drug testing.

It's unclear when McCarthy will appear in court to face the charges or if he has an attorney.

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