Salem-Keizer school bus driver arrested for driving students while under the influence

Police arrested a Salem-Keizer school bus driver Thursday on charges alleging she drove students while under the influence in August.

Katy A. Fowler, 42, was charged with 15 counts of reckless endangering, driving under the influence, reckless driving and criminal mischief, the Salem Police Department wrote in a statement Friday.

The arrest comes after Salem police investigated a report that Fowler, a bus driver for the Salem-Keizer School District, was under the influence of alcohol while transporting students on Tuesday, Aug. 9.

Fowler at the time was transporting students for summer programs, according to district spokesman Aaron Harada.

Police said Fowler drove a total of 15 students on two separate bus routes between 7 a.m. and 10 a.m. that morning.

“Between the two transports, Fowler was also involved in a collision in which the bus she was driving struck a guardrail,” according to the statement.

The district did not immediately have information about about the bus routes.

Fowler started with the district in November 2021 and is currently on administrative leave, Harada said.

Salem police asked anyone who may have seen the bus while Fowler was operating it to call the department’s traffic team at 503-588-6171.

This story was updated after the Salem police clarified Fowler’s first name was misspelled in the department’s original statement.

Contact reporter Ardeshir Tabrizian: [email protected] or 503-929-3053.

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Ardeshir Tabrizian has covered criminal justice and housing for Salem Reporter since September 2021. As an Oregon native, his award-winning watchdog journalism has traversed the state. He has done reporting for The Oregonian, Eugene Weekly and Malheur Enterprise.