FMCSA Declares Bus Operation 'Imminent Hazard to Public Safety'

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has declared motor coach vehicles and drivers used by Liberty Charter & Tours that are or were recently affiliated with Angel Tours Inc., Iguala Busmex Inc., and Angel De La Torre to be an "imminent hazard." This declaration requires Liberty's interstate and intrastate operations involved with Angel Tours Inc., Iguala Busmex Inc. and Mr. Angel De La Torre to cease immediately. An "Imminent Hazard Operations Out-of-Service Order" was issued to Liberty Charter & Tours on Aug. 12 by FMCSA officials and applies to each of its officers and directors.

An Angel/Iguala bus crashed this month in Sherman, Texas, north of Dallas, after blowing a front tire, and 17 Asian-American Catholics were killed. The charter was en route to a religious festival in Missouri.

The Imminent Hazard Order states that "based upon the present state of unacceptable safety compliance of Angel Tours, Iguala Busmex and De La Torre, their continued motor carrier operations affiliated with Angel Tours, Iguala Busmex and/or De La Torre pose an imminent hazard to public safety." The ocument also states: "Liberty charters, leases, and operates buses owned and maintained by Angel Tours, Angel De La Torre, and/or Iguala Busmex. Liberty Charters' use of passenger vehicles which are subject to the egregiously deficient maintenance procedures of Angel Tours, Iguala Busmex, and Angel De La Torre places drivers and the motoring public at continued and substantially increased risk of serious injury or death."

"FMCSA is fully committed to continuing our investigation of motor coach carriers with significant connections to Mr. Angel De La Torre, Angel Tours Inc. and/or Iguala Busmex, Inc.," said Administrator John H. Hill. "We are thoroughly reviewing all relevant records and statements and will not stop until we get to the bottom of this rogue operation."

FMCSA has requested law enforcement agencies to be alert for any buses being operated by Angel Tours Inc. and Iguala.

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