School Van Driver Fired for Taking Photo While Driving

LAKE COMO, N.J. (AP) -

A substitute school van driver was fired on Wednesday after a student videotaped her using a cellphone to take photos of stuffed animals while behind the wheel, officials said.

The 16-year-old student texted her mother on Tuesday that she felt like she was going to get into an accident on the ride along the Garden State Parkway from the Academy Charter High School in Lake Como.

The video she took shows the driver taking photos of a stuffed animal and looking at her phone as she drove at speeds of up to 80 mph.

“When I saw the videos, I couldn’t believe what I was seeing,” Jude Clough, the student’s mother, said. “These people are paid by the school to take care of the kids.”

The school’s director, Mary Jo McKinley, said officials were “appalled” by the driver’s recklessness and that she was fired by DAG Transport.