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Carroll County school bus crashes near Liberty High; driver arrested after police say they observed signs of intoxication

A Carroll County Public Schools bus driver suspected of driving under the influence was arrested Thursday after she crashed bus 71 into several telephone poles in Eldersburg near Liberty High School, according to the Maryland State Police.

No students were on the bus at the time of the incident, according to police.

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Tammy J. Frock, 54, of Westminster, a driver for Johnson Bus Service, LLC., of Westminster, which contracts with CCPS, was arrested at the scene of the crash after state troopers said they observed signs of intoxication.

State police said Friday that Frock was released from custody and that charges are pending the results of a blood analysis. Charges do not yet appear in electronic court records as of Monday morning.

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Johnson Bus Service confirmed Friday that Frock is one of their bus drivers, but had no further comment.

At 2:15 p.m., Thursday, Unit 12 of the Sykesville Freedom District Fire Department responded to Route 32 north of Bartholow Road in Eldersburg where they found a school bus off the road and broken power poles.

Police said Frock was driving a 2016 school bus south when she went off the right side of the road and hit multiple power poles. Damage to the poles and lines was severe and police shut down the road Thursday afternoon.

Crews from Baltimore Gas and Electric and the Maryland State Highway Administration also responded to the scene and the road was reopened at 11 p.m., after BGE repaired the electric lines.

In CCPS, bus drivers are employees of independent bus contractors and are certified to drive a school bus by the school system based on Maryland Department of Transportation regulations. All CCPS-certified drivers must complete background checks, including a pre-employment physical with drug and alcohol screening.

Drivers must also submit to random drug and alcohol testing by Carroll Occupational Health, according to Carey Gaddis, CCPS communications officer.

CCPS sent messages to parents Thursday and Friday, stating that the crash occurred before the start of the afternoon bus run.

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The messages also stated that the school system follows specific procedures based on regulations from the Maryland Department of Transportation whenever a school bus is involved in a crash.

“As appropriate, law enforcement is called to the scene and we defer to their procedures and protocols. CCPS Transportation Department officials also are at the scene,” the release stated. “Under our regulations we are required to send any bus driver involved in any accident involving personal injury or property damage for mandatory drug testing.”

CCPS sent a new bus and driver to pick up students on the affected route Thursday afternoon.

State police are asking anyone who witnessed the crash to call the Westminster barrack at 410-386-3000.

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