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Former Medina school bus driver sentenced on endangering children charges after driving under the influence with students onboard

'I’m sincerely sorry for any pain and inconvenience or suffering that I have caused,' Herbert Ferguson said before he was sentenced.

MEDINA, Ohio — Herbert Ferguson, a former Medina school bus driver, will spend the next 270 days behind bars and pay a $3,000 fine after a judge sentenced him Tuesday morning on endangering children charges.

Ferguson was arrested late last year “for operating a bus with students onboard while under the influence of alcohol.”

The judge also ordered five years of probation and suspended Ferguson's license for the duration of that time.

“You are not to possess or consume alcoholic beverages during the term of your supervision," the judge told Ferguson while announcing the sentence. "That’s a zero-tolerance policy. You have one drink, and we find out about it, we’ll be back here talking about suspended jail time.”

Court records show Ferguson pleaded no contest in the case.

Before the judge announced the punishment, Ferguson apologized while offering a statement to the court. You can watch his full statement in the video below:

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“I want to begin by apologizing to the Medina Municipal Court and all the law enforcement officers involved," he said. "I also want to apologize to the parents and the students on bus number 30. I’m sincerely sorry for any pain and inconvenience or suffering that I have caused. I also want to apologize to the Medina City School District, to the Transportation Department and to the community at large here in Medina.”

Ferguson also apologized to his own family.

“I am so sorry for the pain and disappointment and embarrassment I have caused you."

Ferguson said his behavior "was that of a person who had lost his way."

“I felt out of sync, out of purpose and out of touch with my life," he continued during his statement. "My coping skills were insufficient and underdeveloped. I was using alcohol as one of my coping skills. As it turned out, alcohol wasn’t my problem -- it was my solution. I remember a statement I had heard once. It said, ‘You can wreck your future by running from your past.’ This rang true for seasons of my life. Seasons when all my attention and energy became transfixed on my past, including, and most serious, my very terrible decision to report to work that day. I’ve felt guilt, shame, remorse, regret. All the could’ve, would’ve, should’ve moments left me less than at my best.”

Ferguson also noted that he checked himself into a rehabilitation facility.

“I laid it all out on the table when I got there," he said. "I was willing to do anything to change my life, to save my life. I attended and actively participated in recovery, educational and faith-based groups eight hours each day, seven days a week for four months.”

The Medina Police Department shared details of his arrest last year on Facebook, saying the alleged violation “was discovered after Ferguson failed a random alcohol test conducted at the conclusion of his morning bus run.”

According to Medina City Schools Superintendent Aaron Sable, Ferguson was transporting students ranging from elementary all the way through high school.

Editor's note: Video in the player above was originally published in a previous story regarding this case on Dec. 1, 2022.

"This more than concerns me, this upsets me, this angers me," Sable told 3News' Isabel Lawrence after the story first broke. "All of our employees in our district, our educators and professionals, we have high expectations for everybody that’s working with our students in our district. Our employees have high expectations for each other. So when there’s a failure of this magnitude, it’s extremely disappointing. I take it personally hard, and very seriously.”

Ferguson, of Westfield Center, was immediately removed from driving duty per school district policy and he subsequently resigned.

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