Vendor involved in CHS bus fire has history of engine issues

Vendor involved in CHS bus fire has history of engine issues

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - Shelby County Schools has suspended its entire list of charter bus vendors, and WMC Action News 5's Andy Wise has a head start on each of their safety records.

There's more bad news, including new information on the vendor whose bus fire on Tuesday with Central High School Students on board got him suspended.

The feds cited school vendor Franklin's Coach & Tours of Memphis in August 2014 for "knowingly allowing (a driver) with a suspended commercial driver's license".

Christian Chapel Charters, Inc., of Memphis is not even rated for safety, and it "...has no current for-hire operating authority...".

Jefferson Travel and Tours, the vendor whose engine compartment caught fire in Tuesday's disaster has a past.

"I saw Mr. Jefferson on television I said, 'That's that guy. That's the same guy that we had the same problems with with our bus back in 2012,'"said Meka Egwuekwe.

Back in 2012, Egwuekwe chartered Jefferson Travel and Tours for a church college youth tour through Texas and Louisiana, but the bus broke down and caught on fire.

"He opens the engine compartment, smoke starts to come out, and he yells to me immediately to get all the kids off the bus," noted Egwuekwe.

The engine compartment, the same place where the fire started in Jefferson's bus Tuesday night while chartering Central High School's basketball teams.

For now, Jefferson Travel is off the list, along with every other travel vendor. One of the now-suspended vendors even ran a travel scam out of her government job office.

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