SUV hits school bus in San Tan Valley

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The driver of an SUV ran into the back of a school bus near Quail Run Lane and Bella Vista Road in San Tan Valley. By Jennifer Thomas The driver of an SUV ran into the back of a school bus near Quail Run Lane and Bella Vista Road in San Tan Valley. By Jennifer Thomas
The driver of an SUV ran into the back of a school bus near Quail Run Lane and Bella Vista Road in San Tan Valley. By Jennifer Thomas The driver of an SUV ran into the back of a school bus near Quail Run Lane and Bella Vista Road in San Tan Valley. By Jennifer Thomas
The driver of an SUV ran into the back of a school bus near Quail Run Lane and Bella Vista Road in San Tan Valley. By Jennifer Thomas The driver of an SUV ran into the back of a school bus near Quail Run Lane and Bella Vista Road in San Tan Valley. By Jennifer Thomas
The driver of an SUV ran into the back of a school bus near Quail Run Lane and Bella Vista Road in San Tan Valley. By Jennifer Thomas The driver of an SUV ran into the back of a school bus near Quail Run Lane and Bella Vista Road in San Tan Valley. By Jennifer Thomas
The driver of an SUV ran into the back of a school bus near Quail Run Lane and Bella Vista Road in San Tan Valley. By Jennifer Thomas The driver of an SUV ran into the back of a school bus near Quail Run Lane and Bella Vista Road in San Tan Valley. By Jennifer Thomas

SAN TAN VALLEY, Ariz. -- Pinal County officials said an SUV driver who hit a school bus in San Tan Valley Thursday morning admitted taking morphine before the crash.

According to the Pinal County Sheriff's Office, the SUV slammed into the back of a Florence Unified School District bus at a high rate of speed at about 6:30 a.m.

The sheriff's office received 911 calls about a reckless driver speeding on Quail Run Lane near Bella Vista Road shortly before the crash.

Deputies said the driver, Shiree Kalectaca, 40, had obvious signs of drug impairment. She also told deputies that she had taken morphine earlier in the morning.

Kalectaca was transported to Banner Ironwood Hospital for treatment of her injuries.

Sheriff's spokeswoman Tamra Ingersoll said there were eight students on the bus -- six from Poston Butte High School and two who attend the district's alternative school. No one was injured.

The bus continued on to the schools.

A blood sample was obtained from Kalectaca and it will be sent to the Arizona Department of Public Safety to test for its drug content. Pending the results of the blood test, the driver will face charges of driving while impaired by a drug and reckless driving.

"Many times when people are prescribed prescription medications they ignore the warnings on the medications and choose to still get behind the wheel of their vehicle and drive," Sheriff Paul Babeu said in a news release. "The driver of this vehicle could have very easily injured or killed a child walking to school as a result of her driving being impaired by her medication. If medications have impairing affects don't drive!"