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Bus Driver Pleads Not Guilty to Syosset DWI Crash

Syosset School Bus Crash
A school bus crashed into a Syosset home after the driver had a medical emergency on Wednesday, Oct. 3 (Lindsay Christ/Long Island Press)
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A school bus crashed into a Syosset home after the driver had a medical emergency on Wednesday, Oct. 3 (Lindsay Christ/Long Island Press)

A Syosset homeowner said he was disgusted to learn that the man who crashed a school bus into his home was allegedly driving drunk with five children on board.

Fredrick Flowers pleaded not guilty Thursday to endangering the welfare of a child, reckless endangerment and driving while intoxicated with child passenger 15 years old or less, a felony under Leandra’s Law.

The 66-year-old Massapequa Park man was arraigned bedside at Nassau University Medical Center, where he was airlifted after police said he drove the bus into a Teibrook Avenue home at 3:40 p.m. Wednesday.

“[Flowers] was supposed to be doing his job getting the kids home safely from school to their homes and he’s behind the wheel under the influence,” said homeowner Dan Percell. “It’s disgusting, it really is heart wrenching.”

The children, who ranged in age from 5 to 9, were not hurt when police said Flowers crashed the minibus into Percell’s garage. Flowers had just left St. Edward the Confessor School across the street.

Flowers’ attorney, Thomas Spreer, said his client has worked as a bus driver for First Student for more than three years and before that as a driver for Thomas’ English Muffins for 38 years, both without incident. A First Student representative did not return a call for comment.

Spreer said Flowers had several stitches below his right eye and was held at the hospital over night for a possible concussion.

Percell’s two dogs were the only ones home at the time. The Verizon technician and volunteer Syosset firefighter said he first heard of the crash from the fire department dispatcher as the call was going out.

He and his wife mainly use their garage for storage. The only damage, besides the garage itself, was to a snow blower and a set of golf clubs. The hole has since been boarded up, but Percell has no idea how much the repairs will cost.

If convicted, Flowers faces up to one and a third to four years in prison. His bail has been set at $50,000 and he is due back in court Oct. 10.

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