SALT LAKE CITY – An alert police officer who boarded a bus full of recent Utah high school graduates headed to Disneyland averted what could have been a deadly road trip after arresting the driver for suspicion of being under the influence of drugs, authorities said Friday.
"There's no other way to put it," said Cedar City police Lt. Darin Adams. "I really hate to think of what would have been. We may have been getting calls today that the bus had crashed and students were dead or injured."
About 100 students from Canyon View High School in southern Utah had just graduated Thursday night and boarded the charter bus for their senior trip, Adams said.
Parents and faculty members had asked police to bring a K-9 to the scene before the bus departed to check students' bags for drugs.
Officer Isaac Askeroth boarded the bus with his dog and another officer and immediately noticed driver Brandon Gillman, 30, of South Jordan, seemed suspicious, Adams said.
He was fidgety, began removing items from his backpack and stuffing them in his pockets as he tried to wander off the bus, he said.
"They saw some things that didn't add up and their instincts kicked in," Adams added.
The dog immediately alerted on the driver's bag.
Adams said the officer then found prescription pills, drug paraphernalia and what is believed to be cocaine in the backpack.