LAREDO, Texas — The Texas bus company involved in a rollover crash that killed eight people and injured 44 others had twice been ordered by Louisiana state inspectors in 2015 to take one of its buses off the road to fix brake and emergency-exit problems.
Regulators ordered OGA Charters to sideline a bus in May 2015 because of brake problems and again in August of last year when they were getting worse, Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration records showed.
It was not immediately clear if the bus in question was same vehicle that crashed Saturday about 46 miles north of Laredo, Texas, or what steps the company took to fix the problems with its sidelined vehicle between inspections.
National Transportation Safety Board investigators arrived Sunday in Laredo to try to determine a cause of the crash, something spokesman Keith Holloway said can take months.
The agency will look at the operations of the company as part of its investigation and has requested inspection and maintenance records, Holloway added.
According to federal online records, OGA Charters has two buses and the Motor Carrier Safety Administration had it listed with a "satisfactory" rating in May 2014.
Records noted that the company had reported no crashes in the last two years prior to Saturday. But six driver and vehicle inspections since 2014 found 15 total violations, ranging from driver records and hours they were on the road, to vehicle maintenance problems.
The May 2015 inspection in Louisiana reported brake connections with leaks, problems with the automatic brake adjustment system and a discolored windshield. The bus was put out of service because 20 percent or more of its brakes were defective.
The records don't name the Louisiana community where the inspection occurred.
Another Louisiana inspection just four months later found "general" brake problems, citing some of the same problems, and the emergency exit issue. Details of the emergency exit problem were not immediately available. The report also noted the discolored windshield problem and again ordered the bus out of service.
The rate of violations for hours of service was marked as a problem area by federal regulators.
Officials at OGA Charters, based in San Juan, Texas, in the Rio Grande Valley, did not immediately return phone messages seeking comment.