U.S. Department of Transportation
Office of Public Affairs
Sunday, August 10, 2008
Contact: Kristin Schrader
Tel.: (202) 366-9999 or (202) 366-2309
FMCSA declares Angel Tours, Inc. and Iguala Busmex, Inc. an "imminent hazard to public safety" and orders companies to cease all commercial operations
WASHINGTON - The bus company involved in a fatal crash in Sherman, Texas on August 8, 2008 has been declared an "imminent hazard" by the Federal Motor Safety Administration (FMCSA), and must immediately cease all commercial operations, 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 August 9, 2008. A second Order was issued to Mr. Angel De La Torre, the President and owner of Angel Tours, Inc. and Iguala Busmex, Inc.
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." The FMCSA document also states: "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 operations of Angel Tours and Iguala have now reached the point where they constitute an imminent hazard to the public."
The Order issued to Mr. 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."
As previously stated, neither of these domestic entities is authorized to operate as a U.S. passenger carrier in interstate commerce at this time. The FMCSA identified Angel Tours as being a high risk carrier due to safety violations detected during roadside safety inspections and was subjected to an FMCSA compliance review in May 2008. This review resulted in FMCSA placing Angel Tours' operations Out-of-Service. To date, Angel Tours has not provided the Agency with evidence of satisfactory corrective actions to the problems discovered and remains Out-of-Service. We also determined Iguala Busmex applied for operating authority on June 26, 2008, but FMCSA has not granted them authority to transport passengers because it failed to fully comply with federal safety requirements.
On August 8, 2008, a bus operated by Angel Tours and/or Iguala Busmex, Inc. transporting passengers from Houston, Texas to Carthage, Missouri crashed on Highway 75 traveling Northbound near Sherman, Texas. The National Transportation Safety Board is investigating the incident.
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