HOUSTON - We're learning new details about the company that owns the bus that crashed Tuesday sending 19 kids to the hospital. State regulators say the bus was not authorized to transport students at all. Even while officers investigate the crash, Nancy's Bus Service is transporting children using at least one other bus.
A spokesman for the Texas Department of Motor Vehicles tells Local 2 it revoked the license for Nancy's Bus Service in 2009 because the company was not insured. Adam Shaivitz said the owner never reapplied.
A U.S. Department of Transportation number on the side of the bus that crashed into a tree Tuesday morning comes back to Rachell's Bus Service with the same business address as Nancy's Bus Service. But Shaivitz said registering with the USDOT does not authorize motor carriers to transport passengers within the state of Texas.
For the second day in a row, no one answered at the apartment in Sharpstown listed as the business address for Nancy's and Rachell's bus services. The bus in the crash is registered to Nancy Bermudez. On her Facebook page, she's posing in front of one of her school buses. It was the same bus our cameras caught picking up students from Paul Revere Middle School on Wednesday.
As we were leaving the company headquarters, a man showed up and said he's Nancy's son. He didn't want to talk on camera, but he told reporter Amy Davis his mom's buses have passed inspection and that she is operating above-board. He couldn't explain state records that show otherwise.
The Texas DMV is investigating and could impose fines of up to $30,000.
At the same time, Houston police are inspecting the 17-year-old bus, which has what appear to be rusted seats separated from the floor and what look like worn, cracked tires. An HPD spokesperson told Local 2 the driver was 51-year-old Norma Galan.
Galan told police the bus had some sort of mechanical failure. They're looking into that as well as claims that Galan was driving with an expired license.
The Houston Independent School District is aware that some parents hire private bus companies to get their kids to and from school in areas that aren't in the district's bus routes. Even though the district doesn't have a list of all of the companies that transport kids in the area, a spokesperson told Local 2 they are working on putting together some guidelines for parents with things they need to check before they hire any private bus service.
Local 2 will stay on top of the local and state investigations and let you know what happens.
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