Passengers express concern about Charlotte bus service

Passengers express concern about Charlotte bus service

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by MICHELLE BOUDIN / NewsChannel 36

Bio | Email | Follow: @MichelleBoudin

MICHELLE BOUDIN / NewsChannel 36

Posted on May 31, 2011 at 5:33 PM

Updated Wednesday, Jun 1 at 6:44 PM

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Police say the tired driver of a tour bus is to blame for an early-morning accident that killed four and injured more than 50 others.

The bus driver is charged with reckless driving and the bus belongs to Charlotte-based Sky Express -- a company that's been cited numerous times for safety violations.

The bus makes regular trips from Charlotte to New York.

Passengers who had just returned to Charlotte from New York on a Sky Express bus Tuesday told NewsChannel 36 they weren't surprised the driver caused the crash.

Tiffany Reed said, "I told my mom, there were times he would swerve over the white line, hit the ridges and wake up and get back over."

Another passenger spoke of seeing energy drinks littering the bus near the driver.

"You will always catch Red Bull by their side, which indicates that they're tired," Randall Ephriam said.

Virginia State Police say driver fatigue caused the wreck. The Department of Transportation has cited Sky Express 13 times in the last two months for "fatigued driver."

NewsChannel 36 tried to get some answers from the owners, but when we checked the company's registered "headquarters" we found a house in east Charlotte where two men referred us to a New York attorney. The attorney never returned our calls. 

NewsChannel 36 also checked the company's mailing address and found a University-area house with a woman who slammed the door shut on us when we mentioned Sky Express.

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