A bus driver, who says he unintentionally ingested gummies with a high level of THC and passed out on the highway, has been granted probation.
Jinhuan Chen, 59, told a state judge in Bridgeport, Connecticut, that he did not know the candies were laced with the substance because he cannot speak or read English.
“Mr. Chen considers himself fortunate that no one was harmed,” said Daniel Esposito, Chen’s attorney.
“I didn’t know it was marijuana,” Chen previously told the court through a Mandarin translator. “I didn’t know.”
Chen is a 10-year veteran driver of Boston-based bus company Go Go Sun Tours.
He was arrested on March 13 after pulling his bus over on the side of Interstate 95 in Stratford and passing out in the driver’s seat with 38 passengers on board.
When police arrived and found Chen, he was in possession of a bag of Smokies Edibles Cannabis Infused Fruit Chews.
He has been ordered to complete a two-year probation period, after which all 38 counts of reckless endangerment will be erased from his record.
“This potentially could have had devastating consequences, but he immediately pulled over and called 911,” Judge Elizabeth Reid said.
Manager of Go Go Sun Tour Victor Chen vouched for his long-time employee, saying he was not known to abuse substances and only had an addiction to sweets.
“He doesn’t drink, he doesn’t smoke, but he has a sweet tooth and likes candy,” Chen said.
He added, “This would never have happened a couple of years ago, but now there’s marijuana everywhere here.”