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Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration warns over carriers’ safety

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 have been declared an “imminent hazard” by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). 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 August 12, 2008 by FMCSA officials and applies to each of its officers and directors.

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 FMCSA document 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.,” Administrator John H. Hill said. “We are thoroughly reviewing all relevant records and statements and will not stop until we get to the bottom of this rogue operation.”

The FMCSA has requested law enforcement agencies to be alert for any buses being operated by Angel Tours Inc. and Iguala Busmex Inc., since they are not authorized to operate legally. If any of these buses are found operating, we want law enforcement to immediately stop and place the vehicles Out-of-Service. FMCSA is continuing to work with the proper authorities, including the Department of Transportation (DOT)’s Inspector General’s office, to vigilantly pursue civil and/or criminal violations relating to this incident.

An “Imminent Hazard Operations Out-of-Service Order” was issued to Angel Tours, Inc., Iguala Busmex, Inc. and each of its officers and directors by FMCSA on August 9, 2008. A second Order was also issued to Mr. Angel De La Torre, the President and owner of Angel Tours, Inc. and Iguala Busmex, Inc.

On August 8, 2008, a bus operated by Angel Tours and/or Iguala Busmex, transporting passengers from Houston, Texas to Carthage, Missouri crashed on Highway 75 traveling northbound near Sherman, Texas. As previously stated, neither of these domestic entities was authorized to operate as a U.S. passenger carrier in interstate commerce at the time of the Sherman, Texas crash. The National Transportation Safety Board is investigating the incident.

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