Trial is scheduled for the party bus driver who was charged by a grand jury after an investigation into underage drinking on the night of a fatal DUI accident in Boulder.
When charged with contributing to a minor’s delinquency and providing alcohol to minors, both misdemeanors, Michael Allen Johnson, 63, entered a not guilty plea.
He will now stand trial for one day on September 12 in Boulder County Court.
Additionally, Johnson has a pre-trial readiness conference on September 8 and a motions hearing on June 30.
Following an investigation into a fatal collision in 2022 in which a young driver killed Ori Tsioni, 33, and Gregoria Morales Ramirez, 49, while driving the wrong way down Foothills Parkway, and seriously injured Diane Spencer, five parents, two businesses, and a Boulder liquor store were all indicted by a grand jury.
Natalie Hill, the driver, entered a plea of guilty to several offenses, including vehicular homicide and vehicular assault, and was given three years of probation and nine months of work release.
Prior to their prom on April 9, 2022, Hill and other Boulder High students were allegedly drinking at a parent’s residence, according to the indictment.
After that, the students boarded Johnson’s party bus. None of the regulations specified in the company’s reservation agreement—which forbade the presence of alcohol within 100 feet of the bus, demanded that all bags be kept in the bus’s trunk, and mandated that the driver examine the bags’ contents—were observed, according to the indictment.
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Instead, the teenagers took alcohol-filled bags onto the bus, and according to one kid, the whole thing smelled like booze.
According to an affidavit, prom employees at Westminster’s Church Ranch Event Center and Boulder High School saw that students getting off Johnson’s party bus were obviously drunk when the bus arrived at the prom. According to witnesses, two students collapsed on the ground after getting too inebriated.
Despite the fact that staff members were unable to identify or stop every student as they exited the bus, a few teenagers were escorted into a room reserved for drunken pupils.
A water bottle that fell off the bus and smelled like alcohol was also discovered by staff members, along with alcohol bottles on the floor or sides of the vehicle.
Johnson allegedly told workers that it had been a “rough night” and that there was “a lot of alcohol” aboard the bus. He claimed to have ended the trip, but afterwards picked up the same pupils he had dropped off.
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