Three charged in shuttle bus accident near Atlanta's airport - CBS46 News

Three charged in shuttle bus accident near Atlanta's airport

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Three people charged in connection with the shuttle bus accident near Atlanta's airport that injured 17 people last month are expected to surrender to authorities Wednesday.

College Park Police arrest warrants for the shuttle services owner and both drivers involved in the May 24 accident.

As of Wednesday morning, no one had surrendered to face the charges.

The accident happened on Loop Road near Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport. Police said the driver of a tractor trailer was making an illegal U-turn when the hotel shuttle bus crashed into it. The driver of the bus and 16 passengers were injured in the accident.

Investigators said the tires on the bus are to blame.

"During the investigation we saw that the front tires were not in good condition. One tire even had the steel belts showing," said Sgt. Keith Stanley of the College Park Police Department.

The driver of the truck, Mario Cochran, said he was going south on Loop Road when he realized he was headed in the wrong direction.

While making a U-turn, he didn't notice any other vehicles behind him at the time, and halfway through the turn, he was hit in the trailer by the shuttle bus, according to police.

Cochran is charged with improper left turn and serious injuries by motor vehicle.

The driver of the shuttle bus, Yolanda Boles, faces several charges, including operating a bus without a proper license and operating an unsafe vehicle.

"We did find out that the rear brakes on that shuttle bus were not operating properly, so only the front brakes were activated," Stanley said.

CBS Atlanta News questioned the owner of the MTI Limo and Shuttle Services, Mike Toye, on Monday about the charges. 

Toye said all drivers are required to perform a safety inspection on their vehicles before transporting passengers, but he was not sure whether that happened in this incident.

"I don't know. I'm not very sure," Toye said.

When asked why Boles was operating a shuttle bus without a proper license, Toye said, "Well, it's a mistake, to be honest with you."

Toye said he has hired a consultant to help improve the company's safety standards.  He also said he now plans to have a manager oversee the vehicle inspection process and will require that all drivers undergo training to obtain a commercial driver's license.  Toye is charged in this incident with operating unsafe vehicles.

College Park police said it's not the first time MTI has failed to comply with the law. It was cited a couple of years ago for not having proper registration on its vehicles.

MTI released a statement on charges against the airport shuttle operator.

MTI releases a statement on the inspections.

As for the trucking company, USA Truck Inc., an online report with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration shows that it has a satisfactory record.  However, the report indicates that it has been involved in more than 200 accidents in the past two years, six of them fatal.

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