Chandler school bus driver accused of DUI with students on board

Aug 27, 2021, 1:00 PM | Updated: 1:19 pm

(Facebook Photo, File/Chandler Unified School District)...

(Facebook Photo, File/Chandler Unified School District)

(Facebook Photo, File/Chandler Unified School District)

PHOENIX – A Chandler school bus driver was arrested on suspicion of DUI after allegedly running a red light Thursday with nine students on board and ignoring police efforts to stop him, authorities said.

Bryan Diel, 52, was booked for aggravated driving or actual physical control while under the influence, a class 6 felony, and failure to stop, a class 2 misdemeanor, the Chandler Police Department said Friday.

Charges are pending while police wait for the Arizona Department of Public Safety lab to complete toxicology testing.

“We believe that there is possible narcotics and/or prescription drugs in his system,” Chandler Police Sgt. Jason McClimans told KTAR News 92.3 FM.

McClimans said a patrol officer pursued the bus after seeing it run a red light while heading north on Arizona Avenue at Queen Creek Road, just north of Hamilton High School, around 2:30 p.m.

The officer tried stopping the bus at Germann Road and again at a red light at the Loop 202 Santan Freeway, but the driver allegedly continued north on Arizona Avenue each time.

McClimans said the passengers, who ranged in age from 13 to 17, told Diel to stop when they saw the police vehicles.

“Mr. Diel did not even listen to these kids and ignored their recommendation to stop,” McClimans said.

The bus finally stopped when a second officer arrived and got in front of it at Frye Road.

Diel was arrested after officers ran him through field sobriety tests.

Chandler Unified School District officials said Diel was placed on administrative leave and a new driver was placed on his route while an investigation is conducted.

KTAR News 92.3 FM’s Taylor Tasler and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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Chandler school bus driver accused of DUI with students on board