School Bus Crash Linked to Brake Recalls

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (FOX 46 CHARLOTTE) – The CMS school bus that crashed into a townhouse on Statesville Avenue Thursday morning, sending two people to the hospital, is linked to two recalls affecting the bus’ brakes, a FOX 46 investigation discovered.

Since 2017, two recalls have been issued for the same make, model and year school bus – a 2018 Thomas C2 – over issues with the mechanism that controls the bus’ brakes. The most recent recall, issued last August, warned if not fixed the problem could “potentially” result in “reduced brake effectiveness which could lead to a crash.” 

Another recall, issued in December 2017 warned of the same thing. 

FOX 46 showed photos of the crash to Allen Rabb, the owner of General Parts and Repair in Charlotte. Rabb has repaired “several hundred” school buses over 30 years.

“All in all the buses are pretty safe,” said Rabb. “As safe as any other vehicle on the road.”

Rabb says, in his expert opinion, one of two things likely occurred, based on images from the crash site.

“Either the driver didn’t hit the brakes,” he said. “Or, the bus lost fluid prssure from a brake fluid leak…If the brakes were working, I don’t think you’d be that deep into the building.”

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