Citing a history of violations, federal officials Wednesday shut down a regional bus company after one if its drivers fell asleep at the wheel of a Chinatown-bound vehicle a day earlier, killing four people and injuring dozens.
The North Carolina-based Sky Express Inc. had racked up a whopping 46 violations for driver fatigue since 2009, its most recent one coming just weeks earlier, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation. Its buses had crashed four times in the same period.
Pete Pantuso, president of the American Bus Association, questioned how a bus operator with such an “egregious” record was allowed to stay in business.
“They should have been shut down at least last year sometime,” Pantuso said in an interview with amNewYork. “It’s almost inevitable that something was going to happen.”
Sky Express officials did not respond to requests for comment.
Kin Yiu Cheung, 37, of Flushing, who was behind the wheel of Tuesday’s accident along I95 in Virginia, was charged with reckless driving.
Virginia State Police identified the dead as Karen Blyden-Decastro, 46, of Cambria Heights; Josefa Torres, 78, of Jamaica; Denny Estefany Martinez, 25, of Jersey City; and Sie Giok Gliang, 63, of Philadelphia.
Approximately 20 people were still hospitalized Wednesday with serious injuries, police said.
Investigators with the National Transportation Safety Board were on-site Wednesday and were investigating the crash.