Drunk driver caused Charleston County school bus wreck, investigators say

A school bus wreck that sent five students to the hospital Wednesday was caused by a drunk driver, authorities said.

Samuel D. Brown, 60, of Hummingbird Avenue in Ladson, is charged with first-offense driving under the influence and an open-container violation, according to the Charleston County Sheriff’s office.

Brown, driving a black Chrysler sedan, hit a trailer being pulled by a white Ford F-150 about 4:30 p.m. on Ladson Road near Lincolnville Road, according to sheriff’s Maj. Jim Brady. The collision caused the truck to veer into the path of the bus, which hit the truck.

Five students, Brown and the occupant of another vehicle were hospitalized with minor injuries, Brady said.

The bus was carrying students from Stall High School, according to the Charleston County School District.

Deputies found several open containers of beer in Brown’s car.

When a deputy interviewed Brown in his hospital bed, he smelled like alcohol, had bloodshot and watery eyes, couldn’t say where the accident occurred and didn’t know what time of day it was, according to the report.

Since Brown was wearing a neck collar and couldn’t take a breath test, a blood sample was drawn and sent to the State Law Enforcement Division for testing.

Brown remained hospitalized Thursday.

Another school bus also wrecked in the Ladson Road area Wednesday afternoon. An empty bus heading to Oakbrook Middle School hit a car near Ladson and Dorchester roads, according to the Dorchester District 2 office. No injuries were reported.

Reach Dave Munday at 937-5553 or twitter.com/dmunday.

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