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Nelson Gonzalez
courtesy of Catawba Co. Sheriff's Office

Additional Charges Filed Against Sherrills Ford School Bus Driver

In addition to charges filed Wednesday (December 6) in Lincoln County, 54-year-old Nelson Gonzalez of Sherrills Ford now faces 33 counts of misdemeanor child abuse in Catawba County. He was arrested by Troopers with the N.C. State Highway Patrol Wednesday and was charged at that time with driving while impaired, driving a commercial vehicle while impaired, careless & reckless driving, and misdemeanor child abuse.

Gonzalez was the driver of a school bus from Sherrills Ford Elementary School. Catawba County Deputies and Troopers with the Highway Patrol responded to reports that the bus was being driven erratically along Catawba Burris Road in Lincoln County. He was taken into custody at the scene and was later found to have a blood alcohol content of .23. There were no students on the bus at that time; however, multiple students were on the bus at the beginning of the route. According to the Sheriff’s Office, the driver was impaired during the entirety of that route, with the majority of the route running through Catawba County.

Gonzalez was given a $12,000 secured bond in Catawba County. He was scheduled to appear in District Court in Newton today (December 8) with a Lincoln County court date coming up on January 2.