by Marcus Washington
MURFREESBORO Tenn. – A Rutherford County Schools bus driver has been suspended indefinitely after being arrested for Driving Under the Influence of alcohol while on the job.
For little 5-year-old Ava, the first day of spring break is all about having fun and enjoying her spring break. For her grandfather, Clayton Byrd, he's quick to tell you his job is to keep her safe.
You can imagine what he felt when he heard Ava's bus driver was arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol, after dropping off her and other Stewartsboro Elementary School students at home on Friday.
"Shocked," said Byrd. "There are too many riding the bus for anyone to be intoxicated or on drugs, just shocked."
Rutherford County Sheriff Deputies arrested 53-year-old Jeffery Layne, charging him DUI of alcohol while transporting at least 50 students on the school bus he was driving.
Layne has been a bus driver since February 2013.
Rutherford County Sheriff Robert Arnold said authorities were first made aware of Layne's situation after he was involved in a hit and run accident in his personal vehicle near this Chick-fil- A on Old Fort Parkway around 2 p.m.
The driver said Layne offered her money and told her he was a school bus driver before leaving the scene.
The woman was able to get the license plate number of the GMC Sierra pick-up truck and called Murfreesboro police to report the accident.
Officers were able to track Layne down and he was ordered to return to the school - where a deputy met him.
"He started talking to the bus driver and smelled an odor of an alcoholic beverage coming from his person," said Sheriff Arnold.
He said Layne was asked to perform a series of sobriety tests, when he failed them he was arrested.
Byrd said he's just glad all the kids made it home safely.
"I think they are going to take care of it, but they need to try something else to make sure their drivers are safe and committed to taking care of these kids," said Byrd.
Layne has been released from jail after making bond and while NewsChannel 5 tried to reach out to him, our attempts were not successful.
The former bus driver does not have a prior record with the Rutherford County Sheriff's Office and he did pass the background check before being hired to drive for Rutherford County Schools.