Reincarnated bus company shut down again

| 3/9/2010

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has barred a bus company from transporting passengers after the company’s involvement in a deadly bus crash last week.

Tierra Santa Tours was involved in a Phoenix wreck on March 5 that led to the deaths of six people. At least 16 others were injured. A bus heading from Mexico to Los Angeles rolled over outside of Phoenix on Interstate 10.

“The carrier ceased operation Friday evening, March 5, at FMCSA’s demand,” read an FMCSA statement.

At the time of the wreck, the bus hit a pickup truck, went onto the shoulder and overcorrected before rolling and landing on its wheels. Six passengers – including two men and four women – were ejected from the bus, killing them.

FMCSA said it had previously shut down Cayetano Martinez’s company, though he attempted to “reincarnate himself as a new carrier.”

Martinez unsuccessfully tried to gain operating authority from DOT under a different name, FMCSA said.

“Martinez has shown a persistency and determination to continue operating under new entities and business,” the complaint states.

The order prohibits Martinez or any company affiliated to him from transporting passengers “unless the contracted motor carrier possesses valid operating authority registration from FMCSA.”

Martinez could face civil penalties by FMCSA for violating the FMCSRs.

– By Charlie Morasch, staff writer