An article in Bloomberg Businessweek has uncovered documents that show that the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) bestowed their highest rating on a Mexican bus company with a history of safety violations just one month prior to a deadly crash that killed eight passengers.
The crash occurred in California’s San Bernardino National Forest on February 3 when a Scapadas Magicas bus carrying passengers on their way back to Mexico from a skiing trip in Big Bear went out of control after its brakes failed, crashing into a truck and resulting in eight deaths. Despite the fact that the company had been audited by the FMCSA five times in the past six years, including less than a month before the crash, a simple “pledge to be more attentive” allowed them to maintain their safety rating and continue operating without restrictions.
Five days after the crash, the company was ordered to cease operations by the FMCSA, with the organization citing the same issues noted in the January 9 safety audit that occurred prior to the crash. U.S. National Transportation Safety Board Chairman Debbie Hersman claims that the incident “fits a pattern… of the bus regulator not closing companies with known safety shortcomings until after fatal crashes.”
If you or a loved one has been injured or killed as a result of a transportation company’s negligence, contact Hodes Milman Liebeck at (949) 640-8222 to learn whether you have a case.