February 9, 2013 / 4:10 AM / 6 years ago

Bus company in deadly California crash blocked from U.S. road travel

LOS ANGELES, Feb 8 (Reuters) - The federal government has prohibited a bus company from traveling on U.S. roads after one of its coaches crashed last weekend on a California mountain road, killing eight people, a federal agency said on Friday.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, a unit of the U.S. Department of Transportation, called the company, Scapadas Magicas LLC, an imminent hazard. The driver of the bus told investigators his brakes had failed.

Scapadas Magicas, which has offices in Tijuana, Mexico, and across the border in National City, California, has been cited multiple times for brake problems, according to the formal order against the tour bus company.

On Sunday, one of the tour company’s buses was returning to Mexico from a ski outing at California’s Big Bear Lake resort.

It struck a car from behind on a mountain road and careened out of control, rolling over and slamming into a pickup truck and throwing several passengers from the bus, California Highway Patrol Sergeant Billy Rangel said after the crash.

Seven bus passengers were killed, and an eighth person, the driver of the pickup truck, died on Wednesday in a hospital. More than 40 others were injured.

A representative for Scapadas Magicas could not be reached for comment late on Friday.

After the crash, federal officials stopped the company’s other two buses that operated on U.S. roads from making those trips, FMCSA Administrator Anne Ferro said in a statement. “Today, we’ve officially blocked the company from conducting future operations in the United States,” she said. (Reporting by Alex Dobuzinskis; Editing by Peter Cooney)

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