Texas operator ordered to stop doing business

Posted on August 12, 2008

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has declared the bus company involved in the fatal crash in Sherman, Texas last week to be an “imminent hazard” and, therefore, must immediately cease all commercial operations, including all interstate and intrastate transportation of passengers by drivers from all dispatching locations or terminals.

An “Operations Out-of-Service Order” was issued to Angel Tours Inc., Iguala Busmex Inc., and each of its officers and directors by the FMCSA to the owner of the companies Angel De La Torre.

The Imminent Hazard Order finds that the two companies' motor carrier operations pose an 'imminent hazard' to public safety "based upon their present state of unacceptable safety compliance and their failure to adequately establish safety management systems and ensure their vehicles are properly maintained." The FMCSA document also stated that “Angel Tours' continuity of operation through Iguala demonstrates a blatant disregard for previous FMCSA Out-of-Service Orders, which were issued based upon the company's substandard safety record.”

Seventeen of the 55 passengers aboard the Texas motorcoach on August 8 have died, while four more remain in critical condition. Only 19 of the passengers have been released from area hospitals as of Tuesday. Also on Tuesday, the FMCSA's John H. Hill said that all approvals for new bus companies will be frozen "until I get my hands around this."

The National Transportation Safety Board is currently continuing its investigation; however, preliminary reports say the cause of the accident was a blown right front tire, which had been retreaded.

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