Orange Unified School Bus Drive Charged with Child Endangerment and Child Abuse
Gerald Rupple, 25, a former school bus driver for Orange Unified School District has been charged with causing severe injuries to students by passing out behind the wheel and crashing into several trees. Rupple, is charged with one felony count of child abuse and one count of child endangerment, perjury by declaration, and a sentencing enhancement for causing great bodily injury. If convicted, Rupple faces a maximum sentence of 19 years in state prison. He is currently being held on $100,000 bail.
On April 24, 2014, Rupple was driving a group of 11 El Rancho Charter Middle School students in Anaheim Hills when it is alleged he passed out behind the wheel while driving approximately 50 miles per hour, causing the school bus to veer off the road and crash into trees. All of the students received varying degrees of injuries including four of the students sustained major injuries including fractured bones, intra-cranial hemorrhaging, a shattered spine, and amputation of a toe.
Rupple is accused of having a medical condition that causes dizziness, seizures, and blackouts and not disclosing his medical history to the OUSD knowing that it would affect his employment. Rupple is expected to be transported and arraigned at a later date.