Party bus

Kemah Police document the interior of a high school prom night party bus near the Boardwalk on Saturday night. More than 50 high school students on two separate buses were detained and released into the custody of their parents.

KEVIN M. COX/The Daily News

KEMAH — About 50 out-of-county students’ prom night ended early Saturday on the Kemah Boardwalk, when a party bus driver chauffeuring the teenagers was arrested, and one student was taken to the hospital to be treated for an unknown medical issue, police said.

The students, who were on two different chartered buses, were taken to the Kemah Fire Department to be picked up by their parents late Saturday, Officer Marcus Way said.

A medical call placed shortly after 6:30 p.m. alerted officers to an issue, and one student was taken to the hospital to be treated for an unknown issue, Way said. The student’s condition was unknown Saturday night.

Officers determined that some of the teenagers were in possession of alcohol, and fire department officials helped take the students to the fire department, where the students were told to call their parents.

Police arrested the bus driver, although charges had not been filed as of 9 p.m. Saturday. The bus was towed, Way said.

In a separate incident, students on another chartered bus who were celebrating prom night near Third Street on the Kemah Boardwalk also were taken to the fire department to be picked up by their parents, Way said. That driver was not arrested.

It was unclear what school the students attended, although Way said it was not in Galveston County.

Kemah police were working with the Galveston County District Attorney’s Office late Saturday to determine what charges to file against the bus driver, Way said.

Contact reporter Alex Macon at 409-683-5241 or


(12) comments

J. Shaffer

Why was the bus driver arrested? Even if charges haven't been filed, they have to have a cause to arrest.......

C L Lehman

Not in Kemah.

Lars Faltskog

Kind of interesting that proms are already starting in April. Oh well, it's good to get that out of the way so the seniors can focus on their final exams and such.

My inquiry is simply about the "timing" of this arrest process: Now, what I want to know is was it coincidence that the investigators gathered all their information to make the arrest at the very time of the prom, and it's impending time frame to drive the youngsters back to school or their home destinations?

Wasn't the investigating team working on this throughout this week and perhaps during the day Saturday? And in doing so, did they have a suspicion that this driver was to potentially be arrested? You'd think the authorities would have contacted the school district to say, "Look, y'all need to hire another driver since the one you hired is currently under investigation." Sounds like a lot of uneeded drama, and insertion of angst for the parents of these students throughout this nighttime ordeal. I suppose these youngsters have a story to tell their grandchildren years from now.

Lars Faltskog

Well, now I realize that it was a Friday night to Saturday morning ordeal. My question still remains: Weren't they working on this all week and could have the time to advise the district to hire a driver who is not currently under investigation?

Carlos Ponce

sverige, unless you have inside information not found in the text of the story, why do you assume a school chartered the bus that hired the driver? At proms, some parents usually hire a limo service to ferry their kids and the school has nothing to do with whom the parents hire. When I read the story I envisioned a group of parents hiring a "party bus" to ferry their kids. Another assumption is that it is a school district. Maybe it was a "private or parochial" high school. A n awful lot of assumptions here. Then again maybe you're right if you got that crack in your crystal ball fixed. If such is the case, I beg your forgiveness.

TJ Aulds Staff
TJ Aulds

The bus was a private charter. Not a school-service.

Lars Faltskog

Response to carlosrponce posted at 2:23 pm on Sun, Apr 6, 2014,
Response to TJ Aulds posted at 2:46 pm on Sun, Apr 6, 2014:

Thanks for the clarification. I'm sure it's realized that there's a lot of us who don't have highschool-age kids, and thus are not aware of the "ins and outs" of how highschool students are transported to events like proms.

Now, ponce!....I made no predictions this time, merely asked questions. Will the good Lord forgive me? :)

Carlos Ponce

The Lord will forgive but remember there is a difference between an inference and an assumption. That is something taught in Texas public school junior high. I will remind you of this in the future should you require remediation.

Lars Faltskog

Yes, sir, Meester Ponce. Good thing I didn't enter journalist school or I would have only have had job prospects for FOX News, given that I cloud "inference" with "assumption", LOL.

Did you see my entry under the story regarding the church organist who wants to preserve the traditional hymns?

Wendy Smith

This bus was not a district bus. The bus was paid for by the students parents that were on the bus. How do I know this to be a fact, because my children attend school in the district that these students are from as well as my son who is a senior attended this prom last night. There were several groups that rented limos and party buses. My son was in one of those groups. Yes poor choices were made by these students but how many of us made the same choice your senior prom? Don't judge these kids unless you really know them because they are all great kids.

Lars Faltskog

Response to BeauAndWendy07 posted at 7:17 pm on Sun, Apr 6, 2014:

Well, no one had been commenting nor "judging" the teens. But, since you mentioned it, I think we all ought to consider that the teens involved very likley bear some responsibility in this incident.

I would imagine that at least one or two teens said something like, "This isn't right. We will get in trouble." Then again, all it takes is another 2 or 3 teens to make the bad decision to accept the drinks, then all things deteriorate thereafter.

So, sure, when a teen does this kind of thing, to judge them and admonish them won't do much good. They're way too old for that. But, I do think that this experience may have led many of them to believe that in life we are in a "fishbowl". From now on I think they'll know that a group of youngsters on a charterbus is under the eyes of many. Sounds like some bad decisions were made all around.

Dwight Burns

Teens will be teens. This incident seems to center around the fact that the teens
were not properly chaperoned. The Bus drivers have enough on their plate keeping
their passengers safe as they drive on our highways.

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