Home / National News / NTSB Investigates Cause of Texas Bus Crash That Killed 8, Injured Dozens

 

(LAREDO, Texas) — The Texas bus driver who was driving at the time of the Saturday bus crash that left eight people dead and 44 injured has been identified as Porfirio Aguirre Vasquez, 29, of Pharr, Texas, according to the Texas Department of Public Safety.

Doctors Hospital of Laredo, where dozens of passengers were treated following the crash on Saturday, told ABC News Monday that Vasquez was treated and released on Saturday. The hospital, however, would not comment as to the extent of his injuries.

The investigation continued Monday into what caused the motorcoach bus, on its way to a casino in Eagle Pass, to crash Saturday morning north of Laredo, Texas, on Highway 83 North.

National Transportation Safety Board investigators arrived Sunday and cautioned that it may be more than a year before officials determine the cause of the crash. Investigators on scene are currently looking at several factors, including documenting and examining the bus, documenting the highway and interviewing the passengers and drivers, NTSB spokesman Keith Holloway told ABC News.

“Today is the first full day on scene,” Holloway said Monday. “This is still very early in the investigation. We are collecting factual information and we rely on the facts to lead us and we do not speculate.”

“It can take up to 14 months before a cause is determined,” Holloway added.

In addition to the NTSB, the Texas DPS is also investigating the bus crash. Texas DPS spokesman Sgt. Johnny Hernandez told ABC News that the agency has interviewed Vasquez, and will be looking at the driver, the vehicle and the roadway conditions for clues as to what caused the crash. The DPS is, however, still waiting for statements from the passengers and “other people.”

The bus is registered to OGA Charters, a San Juan-based company that owns two buses, according to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s website.

And while the FMCSA did grant the bus company a “satisfactory rating” in May 2014, one of its two buses was cited for brake issue violations in May and August of 2015. It is unclear if the bus in violation was the same bus involved with the crash.

The bus company had three roadside inspections over the past two years, two of which forced a bus out of service — in May 2015 due to braking issues and in August 2015 due to braking and emergency exit issues. That’s a 67 percent failure rate, compared to the national average of 20 percent.

OGA Charters did not immediately respond to ABC News’s request for comment.

According to the latest data available by the FMCSA, there were 31 fatal motorcoach crashes in 2014, resulting in the death of 47 people, 19 of whom were passengers.

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