The man accused of crashing his school bus into another bus while under the influence of prescription drugs this month was reprimanded in 2017 for a crash in the Transportation Joint Agreement parking lot, according to District 47 documents obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request.
Crystal Lake police were called to the parking lot of Hannah Beardsley Middle School, 515 E. Crystal Lake Ave., the morning of May 2 after a Community High School District 155 and Crystal Lake Elementary School District 47 bus with children on it struck another bus in the loading zone in front of the school. No one was injured, and a driver was the only occupant of the second bus.
Officers charged the bus driver Wayne Desparte, 75, with aggravated driving under the influence and child endangerment.
Deputy Police Chief Derek Hyrkas said investigators still are waiting for lab results to determine what, if any, drugs Desparte was on.
Desparte, of the 4300 block of Greenfield Drive, Lake in the Hills, could serve up to three years in prison if convicted. His next court appearance is Thursday.
A call to the phone number listed on the criminal complaint as Desparte’s was answered by a man who declined to comment or identify himself.
This is not the first time Desparte was involved in a school bus crash while on the job, according to school documents.
On Feb. 6, 2017, Collin McCormick, assistant director of transportation and safety, sent a letter to Desparte instructing him to undergo retraining after his involvement in a “preventable” crash involving another bus that day.
According to the letter, Desparte hit another bus in the Transportation Joint Agreement parking lot as he was backing up.
“Because of the circumstances, the crash was PREVENTABLE on your part. As a result of this, you are being assigned to a trainer for retraining,” McCormick wrote, adding that further disciplinary action would be taken if Desparte was involved in another preventable crash one year from the date of this crash.
Desparte signed a document May 3, 2017, indicating he received additional training in proper use of mirrors, reversing and avoiding crashes.
A spokeswoman for District 47 said Desparte is no longer working for the district.