The Texas bus company that was involved in a fatal rollover crash that killed eight people last weekend has been ordered twice in the past by Louisiana state inspectors to take buses off the road to repair brake and emergency exit problems.
State regulators ordered commercial bus company OGA Charters to take a bus offline in 2015 because of brake problems – twice – according to Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration records.
It is not known yet if the bus that was removed from service last year was the same bus that crashed last Saturday near Laredo TX, or what measures the company took to fix the problems on the bus.
FMCSA records state that the company had no crashes in the last two years, but driver and bus inspections since 2014 found 15 violations, some of which were vehicle maintenance problems.
The May 2015 inspection that sidelined the bus in Louisiana reported that the brake connections had leaks and there were problems with the automatic brake adjustment system.
Our hearts go out to the families of the dead and injured in this terrible Texas bus crash. While we do not know yet the exact cause of the fatal wreck, it is worth noting that it is the main responsibility of commercial carriers to ensure public safety. Our Commercial Driver’s Manual in Virginia stresses that it is the duty of all commercial vehicle drivers to conduct daily inspections of their vehicle.
For example, our VA CDL manual states that drivers of commercial vehicles, including tractor trailers and buses, should regularly inspect their brakes and look for cracked drums, shoes and pads with oil/grease/brake fluid on them, and cracked, worn or frayed air hoses.
As experienced truck accident lawyers that handle Virginia personal injury cases, we often handle cases where commercial vehicles were operated with bad brakes, bald tires, outdated equipment and so on. Having poor brakes on a large commercial vehicle is a huge safety risk, and if it is found that the Texas bus had faulty brakes, OGA Charters could be on the hook for millions in personal liability claims.