Fed's track violations by bus company involved in deadly crash - NBC12 - Richmond, VA News

Fed's track violations by bus company involved in deadly crash

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RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - The commercial tour bus involved in a deadly crash on Interstate 95 in Caroline County is owned by North Carolina company "Sky Express." Virginia State Police attributed the cause of the crash that killed four passengers and injured 55 others to driver fatigue. State police indicate that the bus left Greensboro, North Carolina for New York City's Chinatown late Monday night. 

Though a U.S. Department of Transportation number for the company, NBC12 was able to find a list of violations for Sky Express over the last 24 months. 

The long list of violations shows Sky Express has a history of driver fatigue.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, which works under the U.S. Department of Transportation tallied nearly 50 fatigued driving violations in the last 24 months. Some of the drivers were behind the wheel longer than allowed by law.

After the deadly wreck that happened at 4:55 a.m. Tuesday, brings the number of crashes involving a Sky Express bus to five in the last 10 months. The first happened in Connecticut on the evening of July 8, 2010. The second happened in Connecticut on August, 21, 2010 in the middle of the day. The third happened in Stafford County, Virginia on October 2, 2010 in the early morning hours. The fourth happened during the early morning hours of January 11, 2011 in North Carolina. 

Two people were injured in the wreck that happened in Stafford County. 

On the U.S. DOT's website NBC12 calculated more than 100 maintenance violations including a broken or cracked frame, defective emergency exits and a broken horn.

We researched further on the website and found some drivers can't speak English. One was driving without the required license.

Drivers for the company were also ticketed for speeding, following too closely and improper lane changes. 

The last time information was updated by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration was May 20, 2011.

We called every telephone number we could find for Sky Express. Our calls were not returned Tuesday. 

According to the Better Business Bureau, Sky Express is not an accredited business. The company currently has an "F" rating.

On the company's website, Sky Express advertises "brand new, comfortable, air-conditioned buses". Tickets are as low as $30.

You can catch a bus in Florida, the Carolinas, Georgia and Virginia. The final destinations are either New York City's Chinatown or Washington D.C.  

The U.S. Department of Transportation has a record of 53 drivers working for the company. Sky Express operates 31 motor coaches, one mini-bus and two passenger vans. 

By Tuesday afternoon, two of the three buses leaving from Greensboro, North Carolina to New York City were sold out.  

To Report an unsafe bus company to the U.S. Department of Transportation:

1-888-DOT-SAFT (1-888-368-7238)

You can also file a complaint with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration:

http://nccdb.fmcsa.dot.gov/HomePage.asp

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