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As a school bus full of children veered across lanes of Interstate 15 at nearly 80 mph, their chaperone began to panic.
"Oh, my hell!" she can be heard saying on a 911 call Monday morning from a Davis County school bus whose driver soon would be arrested on suspicion of drug-impaired driving. "I don't scare very easily, but my heart is pounding."
About 70 frightened schoolchildren and their adult chaperones eventually were escorted to safety by Utah Highway Patrol troopers, but not before witnesses on 911 calls reported heart-stopping close calls.
"She almost hit this van next to us!" the chaperone told dispatchers as the bus sped through southern Salt Lake County during a field trip to Brigham Young University in Provo. "OK, I am honestly shaking at this point. I'm going to just close my eyes so I see nothing."
A nearby motorist told dispatchers he was pacing the bus at nearly 80 mph and notes three erratic lane changes within 14 seconds.
"Whoever is driving this thing can't maintain a lane," the caller said.
Troopers pulled the bus over at 12300 South and arrested driver Lycia Martinez, 39, after she failed field sobriety tests, said UHP spokesman Joe Dougherty.
Dougherty said medications, not alcohol, were believed at the root of the driver's alleged intoxication. Four different bottles of pills, for which Martinez had prescriptions, were found in her possession.
Dougherty said the four medications for pain, anxiety and high blood pressure had warning labels noting dizziness as a side effect.
At one point during the drive, the chaperone said she thought Martinez may have been going into diabetic shock.
"She said she knows where she's going, but she just told us she doesn't know the exit. So I'm not sure she does know where she's going," the chaperone said. "She's freaking us out, man ... I feel like I'm on a stupid lagoon ride. Oh, my gosh. She just gets so damn oh, sorry so darn close to these cars."
Martinez was booked into the Salt Lake County Jail on suspicion of an enhanced class A misdemeanor count of DUI because children under age 16 were on the bus.
She also was booked on suspicion of failing to operate within one lane, a class C misdemeanor.
Bail was set at $2,120.
School district officials dispatched another driver to the bus, which continued on to BYU with its 67 students from four Davis County elementary schools and seven adults.
"No question, we had precious cargo on board that bus," said district spokesman Chris Williams. "I can't imagine how it would be if something more had happened. We are so glad there were no collisions."
All bus drivers in the district get drug screenings before being hired and are subject to at least one random drug test a year while employed, Williams said. If they take prescription medications, they are supposed to inform their supervisor. Williams didn't know if Martinez had done that.
Williams said that Martinez, a six-year district employee, has been placed on paid leave pending the results of UHP and district investigations.
The Associated Press contributed to this story.