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Bus Company Negligence Linked to Deadly North Texas Bus Accident

The negligent maintenance and inspection procedures of Houston-based bus company Iguala Busmex were contributing factors in the North Texas bus accident that left 17 dead and dozens more seriously injured, according to federal officials.

In the early morning hours on Friday, August 8, a charter bus carrying some 55 Vietnamese Catholic pilgrims careened off an overpass on U.S. Highway 75, not far from Sherman, TX. Twelve passengers died at the scene; 5 more died of crash-related injuries in the following days.

The bus, which was traveling from Houston, TX to Carthage, MO for the annual Marian Days festival, was operated by Iguala Busmex, an unlicensed charter bus company owned by Angel De La Torre. Following the accident, the company was declared a danger to public safety and ordered to immediately suspend all commercial operations.

A History of Irresponsibility

Friday’s bus crash was partially due to the blowout of a bus tire which had been recapped in violation of federal safety standards, said investigators from the Sherman Police Department. Federal authorities called the company’s maintenance procedures “grossly deficient.”

But Mr. De La Torre, owner of the Iguala Busmex company, is no stranger to irresponsible conduct. In June, his other tour bus company, Angel Tours, was cited after failing a federal review and ordered to remove its vehicles from interstate travel. De La Torre immediately applied for a license for Iguala Busmex, which had not yet been granted before Friday’s crash.

Unsurprisingly, Iguala Busmex was merely a continuation of the same reckless, negligent practices employed by Angel Tours, according to officials – practices such as allowing drivers to operate in violation of federal regulations. The driver of the ill-fated bus on August 8 had previously failed roadside inspections for failing to have a current medical certificate and failing to adhere to hours-of-service rules. He had also been convicted of DWI and cited twice for speeding.

As of Monday, August 11, 2008, 17 people have paid the price for De La Torre’s negligent conduct.

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