- Associated Press - Tuesday, June 24, 2014

LAKEVILLE, Minn. (AP) - Federal regulators have ordered a Twin Cities charter bus company off the road.

The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration cited On Eagles Wings Charters, of Lakeville, for dozens of violations. The Safety Administration’s report says the company hasn’t been involved in any crashes, but its violations pose an “imminent hazard to the public.”

The company primarily serves church and sports groups, and charters to casinos.

Owner Mike LaDue said an inspection of his vehicles two months ago found no serious problems. But things went awry when LaDue agreed to use seven buses to take an Amway group to Louisville in April, after previously agreeing to loan out three of his drivers.

One driver rotated among the buses to relieve the other drivers. But the buses hit a snowstorm and the trip back to Minnesota took longer than normal, according to The Star Tribune (https://strib.mn/1nBr7Kj ). When a bus arrived in Tomah, Wisconsin, its driver bailed because he was ill, LaDue said. He allowed a passenger to take the wheel.

“I folded under pressure,” LaDue said. “It was a terrible decision but I wanted to save the account. . I made some mistakes. I’m the first one to admit that. But I didn’t think I put anyone in harm’s way or put them in imminent danger.”

LaDue hopes to correct the problems and get back in business in the next couple weeks.

“You’re trying to get every nickel you can because we’re a small business on a small budget trying to make it with these big giants out there,” LaDue said. “You want to get all that revenue from the seven buses. But I should have canceled two buses and I would have been fine.”


Information from: Star Tribune, https://www.startribune.com

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