Vernon: Drugs involved in school bus crash

Two Vernon Center teenagers had to be extricated from their vehicle after it collided with a Vernon-Verona-Sherrill Central School District school bus Tuesday. None of the 25 students on board were injured.

Police say Kevin G. Holmes, 42, was westbound on Skinner Road at about 3:36 p.m. in a VVS school bus when a northbound 2000 Dodge operated by a 16-year-old Youngs Road resident failed to stop for a stop sign on Wells-Gifford Road.

The passenger vehicle collided with the school bus at Wells-Gifford Road's intersection with Skinner Road.

"The impact of the collision caused the school bus to exit the north side of the roadway and sideswipe a utility pole," Trooper Robert Belensky wrote in his report. "Both vehicles came to rest in a field off the north side of Skinner Road."

The operator of the Dodge also had a teen passenger; police say his exact age is unknown.

Vernon Center Fire Department personnel extricated the teens from the vehicle. Vineall Ambulance transported the pair to St. Elizabeth's Trauma Center in Utica.

Belensky said his investigation at the hospital revealed the driver was under the influence of drugs at the time of the collision and in possession of a small quantity of marihuana. He was charged with driving while impaired by drugs, unlawful possession of marihuana and failure to stop at a stop sign.

He is scheduled to appear in Vernon Town Court at a date to be determined following his release from the hospital.

Neither Holmes nor the passenger in the Dodge are facing charges in the investigation.

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