A double-decker bus driver who hit a teenager while drunk behind the wheel has been jailed.
Andrew Aldridge, 49, struck the boy in Southend, on February 26, after sipping on alcohol from a container during his morning shift, Essex Police said.
He had continued to drive the Arriva bus with schoolchildren on board following the crash in Shoebury, the force added.
Aldridge’s passengers told him he had hit someone but he ignored them, later taking his bus out of service and asking his passengers to leave, police said.
The boy suffered serious injuries to his head and foot and spent three days in hospital.
Officers breathalysed Aldridge, of Princes Street, Southend, and found he was three times over the limit.
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Aldridge admitted at Basildon Crown Court to dangerous driving, driving with excess alcohol and failing to stop.
He was jailed on Tuesday for 18 months and banned from driving for six years.
He had started his shift at 9.30am and then purchased alcohol at around 10.20am.
Investigating officer PC Gill Brettell, of Chigwell Roads Policing Unit, said: “Aldridge had a duty to keep his passengers and other road users safe and he failed this the moment he got behind the wheel of his double decker bus intoxicated.
“He was caught on camera parking his bus and buying alcohol before making attempts to disguise his actions.
“Worryingly, he had carried out his duties for almost five hours ahead of colliding with an innocent schoolboy who was on his way home.