Cross-border bus company owner charged, fined in relation to accident

Federal authorities have penalized a Van Nuys-based bus company in connection with a crash that killed six people near Phoenix in March. The trans-border bus company faces a fine and accusations that it disregarded safety rules.

The interstate bus business is subject to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. That agency has charged bus company Tierra Santa with multiple safety violations, and has fined it more than $72,000.

It issued the sanctions after a Tierra Santa bus headed from Mexico to Los Angeles crashed on Interstate 10 in Arizona. Six of the 22 passengers died – and 16 sustained injuries – when the bus collided with a pickup truck and rolled over.

Federal transportation officials say the bus company’s owner was operating without federal authority or minimum insurance, in violation of a previous order to cease operations. Arizona authorities also found that the bus’s brakes were faulty. The owner of the Tierra Santa bus company has until mid-July to contest the charges.

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