Fatal Crash Leads U.S. to Ban Tour Bus Operator

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The U.S. Department of Transportation has banned a Canadian tour bus company from operating in the United States following a crash that killed nine people.

Mi Joo Tour and Travel Ltd. was ordered Tuesday to cease operations as the transportation agency revealed that the driver had been on the road much longer than the 70 hours allowed under federal law.

A 19-year-old man from Bellevue was the last victim identified by police. Police said 39 people were also injured when the bus crashed through a barrier and went down a snowy embankment. Most of the victims were from Korea or Washington.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has alleged that the company has scheduled and dispatched drivers on trips without regard for hours of service regulations.

The driver had reportedly been on the road more than 92 hours during the eight-day trip. The company has reportedly faced multiple safety violations and civil penalties in the past.

The company had reportedly been fined for not meeting drug and alcohol testing requirements and did not test the driver following the crash. The company’s license was suspended two months in 2011 for not paying the required fees. Other violations have included not keeping proper maintenance records, not maintaining driver qualification requirements and not operating buses in a safe manner.

A lawsuit filed Monday by Korean exchange students in Washington claimed the driver was tired, driving too fast and ignoring the poor road conditions.

The investigation could continue for another week with the possibility for criminal charges.

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