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Dangerous L.A. to Mexico bus line, Tierra Santa Inc., shuts down after crash kills six near Phoenix

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Mon, Mar 8, 2010 at 7:00 AM

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The Los Angeles-based owner of a bus company involved in a horrific crash agreed over the weekend to stop transporting customers across state lines, something the firm was already prohibited from doing before last week's accident.

Cayetano Martinez signed a consent decree agreeing to stop the practice following last week's crash of an L.A.-bound bus from Mexico that killed six people south of Phoenix. Martinez's Tierra Santa Inc. had already been ordered not to run buses across state lines before the crash. On Friday the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration also ordered the company to cease operations.

The crash happened early Friday when a Tierra Santa bus running from the Mexican state of Zacatecas to L.A. hit a pickup truck near Sacaton, Ariz. and ended up rolling over. In addition to the fatalities, more than a dozen people were injured.

"It is absolutely essential that unsafe carriers like this one be taken off the road,'' stated U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood. "Safety is our number one priority at the Department of Transportation, and we will not rest until this accident has been fully investigated.''

Martinez's cooperation doesn't mean he's off the hook for possible criminal and civil liability in connection with the crash. The company was known for its Mexico-to-L.A. trips. Apparently its L.A. terminal is at 4425 East Olympic Blvd. on the city of L.A.'s Eastside.

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