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Charter bus had a history of maintenance violations

Posted at 6:42 PM, Feb 23, 2020
and last updated 2020-02-23 21:54:50-05

Pala Mesa, CA (KGTV) -- We are learning more about the bus company involved in Saturday's fatal crash along Interstate 15. An Executive Lines charter bus flipped over, killing three and sending nearly 20 people, including a 5-year-old boy, to the hospital. Federal records show Executive Lines has been cited for several maintenance issues in the last two years.

10News looked into Executive Lines, a company out of El Monte in Los Angeles County. They specialize in charters from Los Angeles to San Ysidro, with many of their passengers heading to Tijuana International Airport.

Saturday's charter bus, carrying 21 passengers plus the driver, was headed toward San Ysidro before it crashed on I-15 near Pala Mesa.

"The vehicle lost control, veered to the right, obviously traversed this shoulder, and eventually overturned," Officer Mark Latulippe of the Oceanside California Highway Patrol [CHP] said.

Witnesses said several passengers were ejected from the bus. CHP confirmed that likely none of them were wearing their required seatbelts. Three of them were pronounced dead on the scene, and nearly 20 were transported to various hospitals.

According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration [FMCSA], in the last two years, none of the Executive Lines buses were involved in crashes. But out of 19 vehicle inspections for their seven-vehicle fleet, 13 of the checks came back with a total of 26 vehicle maintenance violations. That puts them in the 48th percentile, meaning nearly half of all bus companies have better on-road performance than Executive Lines.

10News also looked into the inspection history of the exact Charter bus that crashed Saturday. We found that after a November 5, 2019 inspection, this very bus was cited with two Federal maintenance violations:
93.78 393.78 No Windshield Wipers Inoperative/Defective
393.95B 393.95(b) No No Spare Fuses As Required

It is unclear if the company fixed the violations before Saturday's crash. But it is worth mentioning that roads were slick at the time of the accident because of the rain.

Executive Lines did not respond to our request for comment.