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Arizona bus driver accused of shoplifting alcohol, driving drunk

The bus driver allegedly drank the stolen alcohol in a parking lot before driving with 23 students and two coaches.
Generic photo of handcuffs

PHOENIX — An Arizona school bus driver is accused of shoplifting alcohol from a convenience store before drinking it in the parking lot and driving to a grocery store. 

The Arizona Department of Public Safety said 55-year-old Ernest Ralph Feight was driving a Snowflake Unified School District bus on Oct. 1.

The bus was traveling to the Valley from Snowflake for a football game, Sgt. Kameron Lee told 12 News. There were 23 students and two coaches on board.

The bus was seen at a convenience store in Star Valley around 4 p.m. that day. 

Feight was seen shoplifting an alcoholic drink from the store and then consuming it in the parking lot, the department said.

It was not immediately known whether he had drank alcohol prior to this alleged incident, Sgt. Lee said.  

Troopers were also told that Feight drove away erratically and went to the parking lot of a grocery store in Payson. Lee said it was believed that the coaches and kids were on the bus at this point.

An Arizona Department of Public Safety sergeant found the school bus in the parking lot of the grocery store and contacted Feight.

Feight showed signs of possible impairment, the department said. 

He was arrested for seven counts of aggravated DUI, seven counts of child neglect, 18 counts of endangerment and shoplifting. He was booked into the Gila County Jail.

This is a developing situation. Stay tuned to 12 News for the latest.