ORMOND BEACH, Fla. - Flagler County school bus driver Mark McNeil is now facing 14 counts of felony child neglect with another 11 still pending. These charges come after more parents pressed charges following accusations that McNeil was driving the bus carrying children while intoxicated.
McNeil, 60, is out of jail on bond and on paid administrative leave from his job.
Flagler County deputies arrested McNeil for driving a school bus drunk with 40 kids on board Wednesday afternoon. FOX 35 News stopped by McNeil’s home to get his side of the story. Although voices could be heard inside his Ormond Beach home, no one answered the door.
People in the neighborhood said the McNeils keep to themselves and things tend to be pretty quiet.
"He just said, ‘I had a couple of beers, so what?’" said a Flagler County sheriff's deputy in body camera footage released from the department showing McNeil’s arrest.
FOX 35 obtained McNeil’s employment history which showed he’s been driving for the county since 2017.
His most recent evaluation conducted on February 1, 2020, showed no cause for concern. It stated McNeil "is reliable and punctual" and "exhibits the necessary proficiencies to perform quality work." Although, later that year he was formally reprimanded for leaving a sleeping child on the bus.
On Monday, Feb. 7, McNeil was involved in a school bus accident where he was cited by the Florida Highway Patrol for running a stop sign.
"He kept repeating, ‘I got into a bad accident on Monday,' and he kept repeating that," said Sienna McDowell who was on the bus with McNeil Wednesday afternoon.
We have a lot of questions for the district including how they handled McNeil’s accident and why they didn't call 911 when they received word that McNeil could be drunk.
"To the supervisors who tried to stop him, good job. The only thing I wish they would’ve done sooner is call us," said Flagler County Sheriff Rick Staley.
We reached out to Flagler County Schools as well as multiple school board members for comment. All declined until their internal investigation of the incident is complete. They say that could happen sometime next week.