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NTSB blames unsafe operators and ineffective regulators in fatal I-95 crash

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TWC News: NTSB blames unsafe operators and ineffective regulators in fatal I-95 crash
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CHARLOTTE--The National Transportation Safety Board blames unsafe operators and ineffective regulators for a deadly 2011 bus crash on I-95 in Virginia.

The Charlotte-based bus company already faced safety concerns and the NTSB says it should not have been in business the day of the crash.

Four people died and dozens more were hurt when the Sky Express bus crashed just north of Richmond last May.

The bus was traveling from Greensboro to New York City and the driver has told investigators he fell asleep at the wheel.

In the final report on the crash, the NTSB says federal regulators were already looking into Sky Express for safety violations. Board members say the agency in charge of monitoring Sky Express did not act soon enough to pull the buses off the road.

This crash is the 25th bus accident the NTSB has investigated in the last decade and board members say they are tired of seeing the same factors responsible.

"Our investigations have consistently identified three recurring themes: fatigued drivers, unsafe operators and ineffective government oversight. Today, unfortunately, we are going to hear about those same three issues again,” said NTSB chair Deborah Hersman.

The 37-year-old bus driver faces federal and state charges stemming from the crash.

Earlier this year, federal regulators shut down Sky Express and 25 other bus companies for safety violations, but the NTSB says that action was too late.

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