School bus driver gets 14 years in prison

NEWTON. Colleen Eutermarks of Wantage convicted of 27 separate counts of child endangerment.

| 21 Jun 2024 | 02:54

Colleen Eutermarks of Wantage has been sentenced to 14 years in state prison for operating a school bus with numerous students onboard while under the influence of alcohol.

Acting Sussex County Prosecutor Carolyn Murray announced the sentencing June 6 by Judge Michael Gaus of the state Superior Court in Newton.

Eutermarks also was required to forfeit her commercial driver’s license.

On Jan. 28, 2022, she was seen operating a full-sized yellow school bus erratically on County Road 565 in Frankford. She was stopped by the New Jersey State Police.

Troopers said she displayed signs of intoxication and arrested her.

At the barracks, her breath sample showed that her blood alcohol content was 0.34, more than eight times the legal limit of 0.04 for a person operating a commercial vehicle.

An investigation showed that Eutermarks had picked up students from both Wallkill Valley Regional High School and Franklin Elementary School while operating the bus intoxicated. The total number of students was 27.

She was convicted of 27 separate counts of child endangerment. Each count is a second-degree crime, which carries the possibility of five to 10 years in state prison.

“The sentence of the court clearly held Ms. Eutermarks accountable for her terrible decision-making on January 28, 2022,” Murray said. “It also sent a strong message that there are serious criminal consequences of operating a school bus while under the influence which are far beyond the consequences of a driving while intoxicated charge.”

Eutermarks’ trial lasted about two weeks.