TYNGSBOROUGH (FOX 25 / MyFoxBoston.com) – A school bus driver has pleaded not guilty to drunken driving and child endangerment charges after authorities said he rear-ended another small school bus in Tyngsborough.
Police say 37-year-old Erik K. Paulik, of Manchester N.H., is charged with operating under the influence of intoxicating liquor, child endangerment while operating under the influence, and failure to slow down while approaching an intersection.
Paulik was arraigned Tuesday in Lowell District Court, and bail was set at $3,000. A prosecutor said that Paulik had a blood alcohol level of .27, more than three times the legal limit, on a portable breath test.
Police say they received several 911 calls at 2:47 p.m. Monday reporting a crash on Middlesex Road at Westford Road with unknown injuries. Officers arrived at the scene and observed a small yellow school bus which had struck a minivan school bus from behind. No injuries were reported.
An investigation revealed Paulik had reportedly been tailgating the minivan school bus prior to the accident, police said. When the minivan bus stopped at the intersection, the small yellow bus struck it from behind, causing rear-end damage and breaking the rear window and pushing the minivan into the intersection.
Paulik was questioned, then given a series of field sobriety tests and subsequently arrested.
There were two adult bus monitors and four students on Paulik's school bus when the crash happened. The minivan school bus had four student passengers. The students were leaving a school in Chelmsford.
The school bus Paulik was driving is owned by a company in Manchester N.H. The minivan is registered out of Westford, Mass.
In a tragic turn, family of the woman driving the van told The Boston Globe she was pregnant and lost the baby as a result of the crash.