A commercial bus driver has been charged with 38 counts of reckless endangerment after passing out behind the wheel while eating gummies he says he didn’t know were infused with THC.
Jinhuan Chen appeared in Bridgeport Superior Court Tuesday after being arrested at his home in Boston.
Chen was driving 38 passengers from the Mohegan Sun Casino on March 13 when he stopped the bus on the side of Interstate 95 in Stratford. Police said they found Chen slumped unconscious in the driver’s seat, next to an open package of Smokies Edibles Cannabis Infused Fruit Chews.
Toxicology tests showed that Chen had a high level of THC, the active ingredient in cannabis, in his bloodstream, prosecutors said.
Chen told Judge Ndidi Moses on Tuesday that he had no idea he had been eating anything other than ordinary sweets.
“I didn’t know it was marijuana,” Chen said through a Chinese interpreter, according to Hearst Connecticut Media. “I did not know, I did not know it”.
Moses ordered that Chen be held in lieu of $25,000 bail and set his next court date for August 25.
Victor Chen, manager of Go Go Sun Tour, the bus company, told Hearst that Jinhuan Chen had been driving for the Boston-based company for 10 years and had an exemplary track record.
“He doesn’t drink, he doesn’t smoke, but he has a sweet tooth and likes sweets,” said Victor Chen.
“This would never have happened a couple of years ago. but now there is marijuana everywhere here,” she added.