Both drivers facing several charges in shuttle bus crash



ATLANTA - A shuttle bus driver and a truck driver are both facing charges after a crash near Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport last week.

The shuttle bus slammed into the semi as it made a U-turn from the far right lane, according to police. The shuttle bus skidded 158 feet before striking the truck and injuring 17 people, including the driver.

Channel 2's John Bachman learned on Monday that the truck driver, Mario Cochran, has been charged with three counts of serious injury by motor vehicle. He has also been charged with improper left turn.

The bus driver, Yolanda Boles, faces several charges, including operating commerical vehicle without proper license, failture to do pre-trip inspection, operating with improper tires and operating unsafe vehicle. She has also been charged with three counts of serious injury by motor vehicle.   

Bachman has been digging into the records of the drivers and the companies involved since the wreck happened.

Bachman learned federal and state investigators inspected the wrecked shuttle bus on Thursday, but the results of the inspection won’t be known for several weeks.

Bachman first reported on Thursday that the driver of the shuttle bus does not have the commercial license required to drive the 16-passenger bus.

The shuttle company’s attorney told Bachman that the driver had a C class license and a commercial learner’s permit.

He said, "As for whether that's the proper license, no comment." 

Bachman also discovered that investigators are looking into equipment problems with the bus, which is operated by MTI Shuttle and Limousine.

"We conducted a walk-around and noticed that the bus had tires with the steel belt showing. No brake fluid," the police report said.

An attorney for MTI told Bachman that he was not aware of maintenance problems with the shuttle bus and MTI continues to operate its routes.

The attorney said the company has not had a chance to inspect the bus, and will do so when allowed. He told Bachman that all of MTI’s buses are well-maintained. 

The ongoing investigation has at least one member of the Atlanta City Council questioning a proposed contract between the city and MTI.

Earlier this week, the city transportation committee delayed a decision on a four-year, $151,000 annual contract with MTI.

"Frankly, if what we continue to hear bears true, then I think we will be forced to have no other option but to rebid this contract," Councilman H. Lamar Willis said.

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