Charlotte Observer: Feds gave extension to Sky Express
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration was close to shutting down Charlotte, NC-based Sky Express for driver-safety violations last week, just days before the Virginia crash that killed four and left 53 others hospitalized. According to the Charlotte Observer, on April 12, the FMCSA was set to pull all Sky Express buses off the road, but gave the company a 10-day extension in order for the feds to gather more evidence. Normal procedure is a 45-day waiting period follows the order. Hours after the crash on Tuesday Sky Express was shut down.
“There is no excuse for delay when a bus operator should be put out of service for safety’s sake,” LaHood said in a statement. “On my watch there will never be another extension granted to a carrier we believe is unsafe.”
The dead have been identified by Virginia State Police. Killed in the accident were Karen Blydan-Decastro, 46, of Cambria Heights, NY; Josefa Torres, 78, of Jamaica, NY; Sie Giok Giang, 63, of Philadelphia; and Denny Estefany Martinez, 25, of Jersey City, NJ. Twenty of the 53 injured remained hospitalized on Wednesday.
The driver, 37-year-old Kin Yiu Cheung was released on bond Wednesday after being charged with reckless driving. For more, visit www.charlotteobserver.com.