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Yucaipa, California - Feb. 4, 2013
1. SOUNDBITE - Robert Accetta / NTSB Investigator
"we have four investigators on-scene, and today, we looked at the damage to the motorcoach and the other vehicles involved. Two of the investigators are motor carrier specialists. They will be going to the motor carrier side of business. They will be conducting a review of their maintenance records. Their safety records, and get a copy of the driver's qualifications file. One of the other investigators who is on the scene is a survival factors investigator. He also examined the damage to the motor coach and other vehicles today. He will do an extensive inspection of the motor coach tomorrow and work in conjunction with the highway patrol doing a mechanical inspection of the bus to determine the condition of the bus prior to the collision.
2. SOUNDBITE - Robert Accetta / NTSB Investigator
We know the highway patrol is in possession of the driver's logbook. We have yet to examine that. That is one of the things that the motor carrier specialist will also look at.
3. SOUNDBITE - Robert Accetta / NTSB Investigator
"we're hoping that when we work with the California highway patrol with doing a reconstruction, hopefully we will be able to determine the speed of the bus.
The 17-year-old bus that went out of control and crashed on a Southern California mountain highway, leaving seven dead and dozens injured, had a history of brake and other maintenance problems that attracted increased scrutiny from federal safety officials.
The bus that was carrying 38 people from the popular Big Bear Lake resort area in the San Bernardino National Forest was slapped with eight violations by safety inspectors in October, for problems ranging from fluid leaks to an improperly installed battery, according Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration data reviewed Monday. According to the records, the bus was flagged for brake issues in at least three inspections since October 2011.
The cause of Sunday's crash is unclear, but early information pointed to a brake problem.
The National Transportation Safety Board sent a team to the scene to help in the investigation, which will determine if mechanical failure or driver error was to blame. The driver, Norberto B. Perez, approximately 52, of San Ysidro, was injured but before going to the hospital told authorities the vehicle had brake problems.