WAUKESHA, Wis. —A jury has convicted a former Brookfield school bus driver of driving while under the influence of drugs and drug possession.
Penny Wolf said she took an over-the-counter supplement to make her less anxious, unaware it contained the same active ingredient as the prescription sleeping pill, Ambien.
“Pretty much normal routine. I got up, made my tea, put a little bit of Phenibut in there because I’m very socially anxious, and that’s supposed to help with that,” Wolf said during her testimony Wednesday.
During the trial Tuesday, Swanson Elementary School parents relived that December 2016 day, when their kids had a scary school bus ride. Witnesses said Wolf was speeding, driving recklessly and blowing past stops.
“What stuck most in my mind was going past the children, and the children, which was not normal, going into the street to board the bus,” parent Christine Schnabl said.
“My daughter had to trudge through the snow to get on the bus, and I regret that I got her on the bus because I knew something was wrong,” parent Nicole McCumber said.
Swanson staff said she struck a curb pulling in the kids and didn’t seem right. They called police. Officers caught up with Wolf at the school bus terminal in Brookfield.
Body camera video shows her failing sobriety tests. They recovered a loaded handgun from her jacket, and three Adderall pills for which she didn’t have a prescription.
Wolf explained she must have been affected by an over-the-counter supplement she mixed in her tea not realizing it was a sedative.
She was acquitted of taking loaded gun on school grounds.
The judge ordered Wolf to remain jailed ahead of her sentencing next month. She could face three years in prison