NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — The North Carolina-based bus company involved in Tuesday’s deadly crash has been shutdown indefinitely by the US Department of Transportation as local lawmakers call for better regulation.
A bus operated by SkyExpress, which has an office in Chinatown, was heading to New York City when it crashed in Virginia.
Four people were killed in the wreck and 54 others were injured.
On Tuesday, the driver, 37-year-old Kin Yiu Cheung, was arrested and charged with reckless driving. Police say fatigue was blamed as the cause of the crash.
Gail Parenteau, a spokeswoman for SkyExpress, confirmed the so-called out-of-service order issued by the Transportation Department’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration but said the company had suspended service on almost all of its buses as soon as it learned of the accident.
“This is the first serious accident” involving SkyExpress buses, the company said in a statement. “The bus driver has never before been involved in an accident.”
Transportation Department spokeswoman Candice Tolliver said the ban is indefinite.
The federal government is responsible for regulating interstate buses but Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver says more needs to be done.
WCBS 880’s Peter Haskell reports: Lawmaker Says There Are Too Many Tragedies, Too Little Regulation
“We have to do everything possible to ensure that passengers are protected,” said Silver.
With so many discount buses making stops in Chinatown, Silver wants the city to play a bigger role.
“We would like the authority to have buses regularly inspected here,” he said.
A bill has passed the Assembly but is pending in the Senate.
What do you think about a bus safety bill? Sound off below in our comments section.
(TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)