PORTLAND, Tenn. (WKRN) – A former Portland school bus driver is wanted on criminal charges accused of driving drunk with a busload of children.
The incident happened on November 1 at 3 p.m. Bus driver Tammy Miracle was behind the wheel of bus #518.
According to Portland Police, the bus was filled with elementary and middle school children heading home. The 35-year driver called dispatch to report she was feeling sick and needed help.
Det. Joey Rush says, “She was informed to park the bus and help was on the way to get the kids off the bus. Another bus driver was coming to get the kids, and he met Tammy driving the bus in the other direction.”
According to investigators, another bus driver intercepted Miracle and transferred all the children on her bus safely. Against advice, Tammy Miracle then drove her bus back to Portland East Middle School, where she parked and got out. When medics arrived they found her sick and vomiting in the parking lot.
“EMS responded and she said she was hit in the neck with a syringe by a high school student,” said Rush. But he didn’t buy that story.
“Police observed no signs, nothing where she was injected by a syringe. No high school kids even ride that bus,” added Rush.
To verify the syringe story, school officials attempted to pull the onboard school bus video, only to find that the entire recording system was stolen. So they checked the parking lot surveillance video and saw a woman entering bus 518 early in the morning.
According to Portland Police, the school transportation director watched a parking lot video recorded at 3 a.m., showing someone boarded the bus with a flashlight and rummaged around the front of the bus.
“He sees a woman figure walking to the bus with a flashlight, roaming around.” said Rush. “The only one I can see doing that is the one trying to destroy evidence. That was the only bus they went on.“
Weeks later, the toxicology results came back on Miracle. Police say the drug in her system was alcohol.
“She was twice the legal limit,” said Rush. “It was very fortunate it didn’t turn bad. It could have at any time.”
Miracle is now wanted for DUI, felony reckless endangerment, tampering with evidence, and burglary of the bus.
Miracle was supposed to meet with investigators, but failed to show up. Detectives say she claimed she’s in Houston, Texas and left the area without her children.
Miracle drove a school bus for Sumner County for two years. There were no previous disciplinary problems. She was fired on November 1.