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Ventura school bus driver hits woman, suspected of DUI

September 27, 2012 12:00:00 AM PDT
A school bus driver in Ventura was arrested for driving under the influence, running over an elderly woman and killing her. This was all while 11 students were onboard her bus.

The incident happened at Brookshire Avenue and Woodland Street Wednesday afternoon on the driver's regular route. The driver, 54-year-old Joanne Madaule, and the students were not injured. The students on the bus were from two separate schools. The bus had just left Mound Elementary School before the accident.

According to California Highway Patrol, the bus was heading northbound on Brookshire Avenue and making a left turn onto Woodland Street. That's where the bus slammed into the woman, who was in the crosswalk at the time of the incident. The victim, identified as 75-year-old Marguerita McIntosh, had just left a nearby store and was headed back home to her husband when she was hit.

McIntosh was pronounced dead at Ventura County Medical Center. She died from serious head and facial injuries.

After failing a field sobriety test, Madaule was booked into Ventura County Jail for DUI causing injury and vehicular manslaughter while under the influence. Authorities found drugs in her system at the time of the crash. She has since been released after posting bail.

No one came to the door at Madaule's home on Thursday. Her neighbors only had good things go say.

"They're very good people. They're good neighbors. I'm really shocked. She had a lot of back surgeries," said area resident Cheryle Minor.

McIntosh had been happily married for 56 years. Her husband said she had made that same walk home hundreds of times.

The Ventura County Unified School District told Eyewitness News that Madaule has been placed on administrative leave pending the outcome of the investigation. At worst, she could be fired. The district's superintendent said random drug tests are conducted on all of the bus drivers, and no one has failed the test in the last 12 years.

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