According to Sgt. Keith Stanley of the College Park, Georgia Police Department, charges have been filed against both drivers involved in a motor vehicle accident which occurred near Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport at the end of May. The accident involved a hotel shuttle bus and a tractor trailer.
The hotel shuttle bus, which was owned and operated by MTI Limo and Shuttle Services, was being driven by Yolanda Boles. She is charged with three counts: serious injury by motor vehicle, vehicle maintenance offenses, and driving a motor vehicle without a proper license. The owner of MTI is also charged with allowing Boles to drive the hotel shuttle bus despite the fact that she did not have proper licensing to operate the vehicle. In addition, Mario Cochran, who was driving the tractor trailer which Boles hit, was charged with two counts: serious injury by motor vehicle and making an improper U-turn.
Investigation reveals faulty breaks that should have been identified during routinely maintenance.
The charges were filed based on findings from an investigation conducted after the accident. Based on marks left on the road after the accident, it appears that the hotel shuttle bus skid in excess of 150 feet prior to hitting the tractor trailer. The front of the bus was severely damaged upon impact with the tractor trailer. In addition, the accident smashed in the engine block and cracked the windshield.
According to Sgt. Stanley, the accident was caused because the hotel shuttle bus had faulty brakes and no brake fluid. This prevented Boles from being able to stop the hotel shuttle bus in time to avoid the collision.
MTI spokeswoman Kimberly Krautter, issued a statement saying that prior to the accident, Boles contacted MTI’s maintenance department and informed them that the breaks felt soft. According to MTI policy, when drivers believe that a safety concern exists, they are to take vehicles out of operation and follow established protocols. In addition, the hotel shuttle bus’ break fluid levels should have been checked during routine inspection.
MTI representatives also stated that their company operates two types of vehicles, ones requiring a commercial driver license and others which do not. They state that Boles mistakenly took command of a larger vehicle which required a commercial driver license, which she did not possess. However, they explained that the difference in vehicles amounted to one or two seats.
In response to the accident, MTI has hired a consultant to review its operations and plans to require all its drivers to obtain a commercial driver license.
The collision left 17 passengers injured, some of who had to be hospitalized overnight. One passenger fractured both shoulders.
If you or a loved one have been injured in a motor vehicle accident, you should contact an attorney immediately.