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The bus company that owned the vehicle involved in last Friday’s crash in Sherman that killed 17 people was found to be “grossly deficient” in its vehicle maintenance according to federal authorities. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration declared the Houston-based company an “imminent hazard” to the public safety and has ordered the owner to cease all operations.

The owner of the company, Angel De La Torre, has not responded to interview requests and his attorney has thus far declined to comment. Federal officials say that his companies, Angel Tours and Iguala Busmex, violated rules in several ways, including using retreaded front tires.

Sherman police have stated that the blowout of one of the tires on the bus was a contributing factor to the accident. Mr. De La Torre is currently facing fines of up to $16,000 per day and a one-year prison sentence if he is caught continuing to operate his business.

Reports have identified the driver of the bus as Barrett Wayne Broussard, 52. He has previously been convicted of driving while intoxicated and he has had his driver’s license suspended temporarily as a result. Broussard is still in critical condition.

The death toll from the wreck is 17 at this time. We will keep you updated as more news develops.

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