Mount Mercy employee fired, charged after school bus ‘incident’

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — Mount Mercy Academy terminated an employee after the individual was charged following an “incident” while driving a school bus with students on board, according to a letter to parents that was obtained by News 4.

According to the letter, signed by Head of School Michele Melligan, the incident occurred Thursday evening during an after school club activity.

“We are deeply troubled to report that an employee was operating a school bus with students on board and was charged,” Melligan wrote. “The incident is still being investigated by the proper authorities. However, based on the information received thus far, the employee has been terminated.”

Tuesday, Franklinville police told News 4 the driver of the bus was 35-year-old Natalie Alvut. Police said that she was charged with 12 counts of endangering the welfare of a child and driving while intoxicated.

Police told News 4 that Alvut blew a .2 on a breathalyzer test.

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Mount Mercy said all students were reported safe. The school’s crisis team will be made available to the students.

“Prior to this event, Mount Mercy had no indication or reason to believe that the individual would put any student in danger,” Melligan wrote, adding that student safety is the school’s first priority.

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Justin McMullen is a Western New York native who joined the News 4 team in 2023. You can read more of his work here.

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