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Family of Williams school bus driver says stroke caused crash, not drunk driving

The driver's wife and the school district confirm he's being treated at the hospital. The sheriff's office said it is still waiting on a toxicology report.

WILLIAMS, Ariz. — The Coconino County Sheriff's Office arrested a school bus driver in Williams on Monday for suspicion of impaired driving, but the driver's wife says there's more to the story.

"I don’t think he would ever do anything to put any children at risk," says Deb Hoag. "He takes driving the bus really seriously and as soon as I heard there had been an incident, I knew something was medically wrong."

CCSO arrested 65-year-old Charles Hoag after he crashed the bus he was driving into a ditch Monday morning near Hoctor Road and Buena Vista Trail in Williams. 

There were 16 children on board from the Williams Unified School District, and two were taken to the hospital with "non-serious" injuries.

The sheriff's office released information on the crash and the arrest to media outlets Tuesday morning.

Deb Hoag says she took her husband to the hospital after the crash once he was released by CCSO. She said doctors believe he suffered a stroke while he was driving and will be in the hospital through at least Wednesday.

"He’s such a great guy and it just kind of hurt my heart to see that anybody would think - he was out gallivanting around with a bus full of kids," says Deb.

Williams Unified School District Superintendent Rick Honsinger confirmed in a phone call with 12 News Tuesday that Hoag was in the hospital. 

The district said they won't make any decisions about Hoag until they have all the facts in the case. Honsinger said Hoag has worked in the district for a few years and never had any issues before this crash.

CCSO said they are aware Hoag's family is announcing he had a stroke, but could not confirm the information. They say they're waiting for a toxicology report to continue the investigation.

"We have to just wait and get all the paperwork done so we can put everybody’s mind at ease," Deb said. "And then we can focus on getting Chuck better."