Maria Victoria Sanchez -Iredell County Sheriff’s Office file photo

Iredell-Statesville school bus driver suspended for forcing child off a bus

A Statesville bus driver is facing charges of child abuse after she reportedly forced a student off the bus for misbehaving, leaving the child alone on the side of the road.

43 year old Maria Victoria Sanchez, who is a teacher's assistant and bus driver with Iredell-Statesville Schools is facing a misdemeanor child abuse charge, according to the Iredell County Sheriff's Office.

Deputies say the 12-year-old boy, who was riding the bus to East Iredell Middle School, knocked on the door of a home in the Bell Farm Road area. The homeowner, Cindy Upright, allowed the boy to call his mother.

Investigators say deputies went to Sanchez' house and picked her up on a warrant.

Iredell-Statesville school officials stated that Sanchez has been suspended from her job in the school system.

After posting bond, Sanchez was released from the Iredell County Detention Center. Her first court appearance has been scheduled for May 1.