WARRENSBURG, Mo. — The driver who slammed into a bus carrying Grandview High School students over the weekend is now facing multiple charges in Johnson County, Mo.
Coley Gene Waters, 48, is charged with driving while intoxicated, leaving the scene of a crash, 2nd degree assault, and operating a motor vehicle in a careless and imprudent manner.
Court documents say Waters crashed his 2004 Mazda MPV minivan into the Grandview School district bus Saturday evening on Highway 50 near Route Z in Kingsville.
Investigators said Waters was stopped in the median crossover while waiting to cross 50 Highway and continue north on Route Z. He failed to yield, driving out onto 50, striking the side of the bus.
The bus, which was carrying Grandview High School students returning from a track meet, was knocked onto its side in the median of the roadway.
Police said eight students were treated for injuries; none were life-threatening.
Waters abandoned his minivan and fled the scene on foot, court documents say.
Bates City police later located Waters at his home in Bates City and brought him back to the scene where he was arrested.
Police said they immediately smelled alcohol when they encountered Waters, and said he was swaying while standing. He denied drinking before driving and refused to perform field sobriety tests. He also refused breath and blood tests, so police obtained a search warrant for his blood and urine which were processed as evidence.
Prosecutors discovered Waters had a prior DWI arrest on Nov. 1, 2017 in Lafayette County, Mo., for which he was convicted on April 4. Court records show he received a suspended imposition of sentence with probation in that case.
Court documents note Waters as a persistent offender, having been found guilty of at least two felonies in the past. On June 10, 1998, the Waters was found guilty of felony drug trafficking in Texas County, Oklahoma. And on Jan. 26, 2004, he was found guilty of felony 1st degree robbery in Saline County, Missouri.
Waters’ bond has been set at $50,000 cash only.