Bus owner says he didn’t know origin of tires

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) - Court documents show that the owner of a charter bus, which crashed in Louisville and injured 23 students and adults, says he was unaware the vehicle had 11-year-old tires that came from a scrap bin.

The Courier-Journal (http://cjky.it/1dy56Xm) reports Mike Goad made the comment this month while being deposed by an attorney representing a group of plaintiffs who sued after last year’s crash.

“I would not have put a tire on a bus that was going to hurt kids,” said Goad, who owned the bus and was part-owner of Commonwealth Bus Co. “I’ve hauled kids too long. I love kids. And I would not take the jeopardy of hurting somebody.”

Four lawsuits were filed against Commonwealth Bus Service & Transportation Inc. after the bus loaded with high school students blew a tire on June 11 on Interstate 64 and hit a concrete median. The group was returning from a college campus visit.

The company was cited by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration in July for violations related to inspections and maintenance. It closed in November.

Goad said the tires seemed to be in good shape, but he never had them inspected.

“I looked at the tires, and I couldn’t tell that tire different from a new tire,” Goad said. “… There was no cracks or no - the rubber didn’t look discolored or damaged or anything. They looked just like a - a new tire.

The name of the person who sold Goad the tires is redacted in the safety administration’s report. The document says the person told investigators he found the tires in a scrap bin at a mechanic’s garage.

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Information from: The Courier-Journal, http://www.courier-journal.com

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