Tour Bus History Includes Driver Violations - NewsChannel5.com | Nashville News, Weather & Sports

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Tour Bus History Includes Driver Violations

"NewsChannel 5 Investigates" has uncovered questions about whether sleep -- or the lack of it -- may have been an issue for the company behind Monday's deadly tour bus crash.

According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, C & R Tours is a small operation -- licensed to operate just the one bus and employing just one driver.

The Birmingham company had not reported any prior crashes.

And its safety rating is classified as "satisfactory."

But there is one troubling tidbit: the company has faced five driver inspections in the past two years.

In two of those five cases, the driver was put out of service.

The feds tell "NewsChannel 5 Investigates" that it was because his log books were out of date.

Of course, those log books are supposed to document that the driver is getting enough rest.

Two out of five represents a 40 percent out-of-service rate.

That compares to a 6.78 percent national average.

Investigators are trying to confirm whether the driver of that tour bus fell asleep behind the wheel.

"NewsChannel 5 Investigates" has also learned that the driver, Abraham Parker, has had three speeding tickets in the past 10 years, but none in the last five years.

He was involved in a minor accident in a bus two years ago.

One of the other issues that uncovered by "NewsChannel 5 Investigates" has to do with the bus design itself.

The woman who was killed was thrown from the bus.

And federal crash investigators have been warning for years that tour buses just aren't designed well enough to protect passengers from being ejected.

Animation from federal crash investigators shows what happened in one crash where a bus ran off of an interstate.  It shows how the passengers were thrown around and eventually out the bus' windows.

Among the questions: would seat belts have made a difference?

These are just the sorts of questions that crash investigators will be asking as they try to get to the bottom of exactly what happened.

Back to NewsChannel 5 Investigates

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