Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Feds order Olathe party bus company Midnight Express to shutdown

Posted By on Tue, Jun 4, 2013 at 9:34 AM

The Department of Transportation wants Midnight Express shut down
  • The Department of Transportation wants Midnight Express shut down

Olathe's Midnight Express LLC is no longer riding after the U.S. Department of Transportation ordered Tuesday that the party-bus company cease operations.

Midnight Express was the bus company used by a group of partygoers that ended with a ghastly incident in Kansas City on May 4. Jamie Frecks, 26, fell out of the back emergency exit and was killed when several vehicles ran over her.

The Kansas Highway Patrol's investigation of the company showed the Midnight Express bus had a number of troubling issues, including changes to the seating alignment that blocked all four emergency exit windows and a rear emergency exit window that was also blocked and had an inoperable release mechanism, as well as serious problems with the brakes and exhaust leaking into where passengers sit.

That triggered an investigation by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, which then found Midnight Express broke a number of federal laws, including not making its drivers take random drug and alcohol tests, not making sure drivers were qualified and not carrying $5 million liability insurance.

The Wyandotte County District Attorney's Office is continuing a criminal investigation.

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