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School bus driver arrested after having 'meltdown,' police say

By Gavin Lesnick

This article was published January 17, 2014 at 1:31 p.m.

A school bus driver in Conway County has been arrested after having a meltdown and letting a dozen children off on the side of the road, authorities said Friday.

Conway County sheriff's office investigator Alex Campbell said the South Conway County School District driver, identified as 34-year-old Joshua Walls, will face at least one count of endangering the welfare of a minor. He is expected to make an initial court appearance Friday afternoon.

Campbell said passersby called 911 when they spotted the bus pull off on the side of Arkansas 9 at Pinter Lane, where there is not a stop, and let off about a dozen students. The driver, identified by police as Walls, then got off and was seen talking on a cellphone before getting back on board and driving off with other students still on board, police said.

Deputies pulled the bus over about a half-mile down the road and spoke to Walls.

"He said he had a breakdown or a meltdown," Campbell said. "Apparently he was having a panic attack."

Campbell said it's not clear what brought on the episode.

"That he really couldn't explain," he said. "I don't know if the kids were being rowdy or [what]."

Campbell said the total number of students son the bus wasn't clear. Their ages varied, he added, from younger students to one who was 15 and possibly some who were even older.

No injuries were reported.

Comments on: School bus driver arrested after having 'meltdown,' police say

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Displaying 1 - 5 of 5 total comments

Popsmith says... January 17, 2014 at 5:47 p.m.

Do not bully the bus driver.

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HM2 says... January 17, 2014 at 8:03 p.m.

If you check DOT regulations a bus driver can remove a passenger from the bus if they are unruly, or a danger to the driver r other passengers. Kids today are not always little angels, they can be holy terrors, down right mean, or just plain dangerous.Let's hear the drivers side.

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RoyDaMercer says... January 17, 2014 at 8:28 p.m.

The driver said he had a meltdown or breakdown, and apparently may have had a panic attack. He also could not explain what brought on the panic attack. I doubt he can add anything else to make himself look like someone who needs to be driving a school bus. It sounds like he needs to take a job flipping burgers or somewhere else far away from kids.

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Morgancub says... January 17, 2014 at 11:02 p.m.

plenty of witnesses, surely they wouldn't all lie !!!

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cherokee4 says... January 18, 2014 at 8:21 p.m.

There was more than 12 kids walking down a fence row when I saw them. There was 18 or 20. If the driver was having problems he should hav called in and ask for another driver to come and take over. Some of those little kids was scared to death. He lucky some daddy dont kick his butt.

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