Bus company had several violations

January 4, 2008 6:15:45 PM PST
We've learned the company that owns the bus involved in Wednesday's deadly crash had a list of safety violations before Wednesday's deadly crash. One person was killed and dozens of others hurt, after the bus from Mexico to Houston crashed in Victoria. The company that owns the bus has been cited 19 times over the last 3 years, including driving with a cracked windshield, using tires with severe tread separation, even incomplete log books. The NTSB is looking at that and this new crash to determine what can be learned from this tragedy.

The National Transportation Safety Board is scouring the bus, looking for anything that might seem unusual.

"Our initial on-scene work is to gather the information, to gather factual information and evidence, and that's the process we're in now," said Pete Kotowski with the NTSB.

Investigators won't discuss preliminary findings. They're still talking to crash survivors and the driver.

One person was killed and nearly 50 injured in the wreck near Victoria. It's still unclear if the driver dozed off. Investigators are again interviewing him and now trying to verify his log books to see just how long he may have been behind the wheel.

The NTSB is also looking into the business practices of International Charter Service, the company that owns the bus that was cited with so many violations prior to the wreck.

"How do you explain how many of them you've received?" we asked

"I don't know because sometimes the drivers don't turn it in. It's hard to say if I get it or not," said International Charter Service manager Juan Chavez. "When we find out is when the authorities come in or y'all come in. That's when we found out because sometimes the drivers turn them in."

Chavez says the violations are like tickets. Even after the issues fixed, the violations are still on your record.

"Is this not an ongoing safety issue?" we asked Chavez.

"We're going to take care of all that," he responded.

Chavez insists that his driver did not fall asleep, that the driver told him that this was just a horrible accident. Meantime, the NTSB says this will take from a year to a year and a half to complete their full investigation.

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