January 22, 2010 - Bus in Fatal Crash Had Failed Inspection

A Connecticut agency allowed a school bus back into service after brake problems were found and before it was involved in a deadly crash, officials say.

The decision by the Department of Motor Vehicles was based on a sworn statement by a shop manager for Autumn Transportation that the brake problems had been repaired, The Hartford Courant reported.

"Given that there was just one out-of-service violation on that particular bus, we relied on the sworn statement from the company that this bus had been repaired," a department spokesman, William Seymour, said.

The DMV has not said whether mechanical problems were found in the bus after the crash. Vikas Parikh, 16, of Rocky Hill was killed Jan. 9 and four other students from the same Hartford-area magnet school badly hurt when the driver, Paul Burns, lost control of the bus while en route to a robotics competition.

The Autumn Transportation shop manager was charged last summer with filing a false report based on re-inspection of some other buses, the department said. But in December officials decided to drop the case.

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