Local News

Charter Company to Answer Questions About Crash, Insurance

Posted April 8, 2001

— There are still many unanswered questions resulting from the crash of a charter bus carrying students from a Fayetteville high school last week. AMA To Hold Press Conference Tuesday:AMA Tours, Unlimited, the bus company hired to take the Massey Hill Classical H.S. Band to Florida, is scheduled to hold a news conference Tuesday morning to answer questions about the crash and questions surrounding the company's insurance.

The bus that crashed belongs to Darol Britt. His company, Royal Heritage Tours, does not have insurance. However, Britt does have a valid commercial driver's license, which allows him to drive the bus for another company, providing that company is insured.

Westport Insurance is conducting its own investigation. Bus May Have Had Brake ProblemsAuthorities are looking into the possibility that the bus that the students were on may have had brake problems.

Harry Harrell says bus driver Darol Britt came into his repair shop, Smith International Truck Center, last Thursday -- the day before the accident.

"He came in to tell me that he needed some repairs on his bus, and he asked if we did any brake work, and I said, 'Yes, sir,'" he says. "He said that soon he was going to have to get the brakes replaced."

Britt also went to Al's Truck Service in Fayetteville. A DOT investigator was at the shop on Monday, asking for paperwork associated with Britt's visit.

Finding information about Britt has been difficult. His address is listed as Graysville Lane in Fayetteville, but a neighbor says Britt has not lived at the address for more than a year.

Britt has two car accidents on his record - one in 1986 and the other in 1996. However, there are no points on his license.

Britt was questioned Monday by the Division of Motor Vehicles. So far, no charges have been filed against him. Cumberland County Reconsiders Charters:Cumberland County Schools has a certificate which it thought covered them fully. Now, it will scrutinize its policy on the use of charter buses.

"As soon as we receive the report from the Federal Motor Carriers Safety Administration, we'll take a look at that, and we'll look at what we're doing and see if any recommendations they may have for us," says Sara Piland, spokeswoman for Cumberland County Schools.

Several Cumberland County schools still has plans to use charter buses from the school system's approved list, including AMA.

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