Truck driver in deadly bus crash has a troubling past

Crime

KRQE News 13 is learning new details about the truck driver who crashed into a Greyhound bus last week on I-40, killing eight people. He has a long criminal history, including drugs and robbery.

“Brakes. I tried to, you know, I tried to bring it back. But it just wasn’t happening,” said Elisara Taito.

Taito was behind the wheel of the semi-truck that crashed into the Greyhound bus last week. He is a driver for Jag Transportation out of Fresno, CA. He says his truck blew a tire and he lost control.

“I couldn’t do anything. My leg is messed up bad,” he said.

Now, KRQE News 13 has learned Taito is a convicted felon.

According to a criminal complaint, Taito was on parole for a bank robbery he committed in 2008 in San Francisco.

He and his accomplices stole more than $76,000 by threatening bank employees with BB guns, which the FBI says looked like high powered weapons.

California court documents show Taito had a history of getting in trouble with crimes ranging from felony drug possession to grand theft.

During his interview with CBS in his Gallup hospital bed, he said he was still trying to put together what happened on the day of the crash.

“I know there’s some fatalities so that’s bad,” he said.

A representative for Jag Transportation refused to speak with KRQE News 13 about Taito’s criminal history, but a spokesperson for the United States Department of Transportation says the company isn’t required to take an employee’s criminal history into consideration.

The only guidelines the DOT has is that drivers have a clean driving record.

The NTSB says Jag Transportation is currently an unrated carrier. That means they have not received a full compliance review from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration.

They were authorized to operate in 2015 after completing a new entrance program with a satisfactory rating.

Taito took a plea deal and served 6.5 years for his involvement in the San Francisco bank robbery. He was currently on federal parole during the time of the crash.

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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