FMCSA declares bus firm involved in fatal Texas crash ‘imminent hazard’

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The bus company involved in a fatal crash in Sherman, Texas, on Aug. 8 has been declared an “imminent hazard” by the Federal Motor Safety Administration and must cease all commercial operations immediately, 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 FMCSA officials on Aug. 9. A second order was issued to Angel De La Torre, president and owner of Angel Tours and Iguala Busmex.

FMCSA says 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.”

“Angel Tours’ continuity of operation through Iguala demonstrates a blatant disregard for previous FMCSA Out-of-Service Orders, which was issued based upon the company’s substandard safety record,” the FMCSA document states. “The operations of Angel Tours and Iguala have now reached the point where they constitute an imminent hazard to the public.”

The order issued to De La Torre finds that his “activities in connection with motor carrier operations pose an ‘imminent hazard’ to the public” due to his direct involvement in ‘managing and controlling the motor vehicle operations of Angel Tours Inc. and Iguala Busmex Inc.”

FMCSA says it identified Angel Tours as being a high-risk carrier due to safety violations detected during roadside safety inspections and that the company was subjected to an FMCSA compliance review last May; this review resulted in FMCSA placing Angel Tours’ operations out of service. FMCSA says that to date, Angel Tours has not provided evidence of satisfactory corrective actions to the problems discovered and remains out of service. FMCSA says it also determined Iguala Busmex applied for operating authority on June 26, but the agency has not granted them authority to transport passengers because it failed to fully comply with federal safety requirements.

On Aug. 8, a bus operated by Angel Tours and/or Iguala Busmex transporting passengers from Houston to Carthage, Mo., crashed on Highway 75 traveling Northbound near Sherman. The National Transportation Safety Board is investigating the incident.