Police: School bus driver overdoses and crashes with 12 special needs students aboard

NEWARK, New Jersey — A school bus driver was arrested after she overdosed while driving and crashed into a tree, Newark police said.

Lisa Byrd (Photo Credit: Newark Department of Public Safety)

The driver, Lisa Byrd, was transporting a dozen students from 14th Avenue School in Newark when the vehicle crashed into a tree on Wednesday, officials said in a statement.

When first responders arrived, police said they revived the 57-year-old woman with Narcan — a drug that instantly reverses the effects of overdose from heroin and other opioids.

The special needs students, ages 5 to 13, were not injured, PIX11 in New York reported.

Byrd, who was taken to a local hospital, is facing 12 charges of endangering the welfare of a child, driving while impaired and possession of drug paraphernalia, police said.

It was not immediately clear whether Byrd has an attorney.

*Click to read more from our sister station PIX11

“Endangering the lives of Newark children is something we will not tolerate,” said Newark Mayor Ras J. Baraka in a statement. “We are grateful that none of the students were injured and that no other residents were harmed due to this incident.”

The company employing the driver, F&A Transport, has been “removed from transporting children” until an investigation is completed, Newark Public Schools said in a statement.

CNN has reached out to the company for comment.

According to PIX11, Byrd had her driving status suspended from 1996 – 2006.

She had contraband and drug paraphernalia on her, PIX11 reported.

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