Federal authorities concerned about tribal casino bus incidents

The Choctaw Nation owns and operates the Choctaw Casino Resort in Durant, Oklahoma. Photo from Facebook Buses that take patrons to and from tribal casinos are facing heightened federal scrutiny.

The National Transportation Safety Board is investigating an October 23 crash that killed 13 people and injured 31 others after they left the casino owned by the Torres-Martinez Band of Desert Cahuilla Indians in California. But the federal agency is also looking at other incidents for any common patterns, the Associated Press reported.

There have been similar cases. In May, eight people died and 44 were injured when a bus that was on its way to the casino owned by the Kickapoo Tribe crashed in Texas.

And a 2013 crash in Texas resulted in a $10.9 million judgment against the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma. Two people died in that incident.

In most situations, tribes and their casinos do not run their own buses. But some have entered into arrangements with operators and those relationships can pose legal problems for tribes.

The Choctaw Nation is disputing the $10.9 million judgment.

Read More on the Story:
Frequent fatal casino bus crashes draw attention from feds (AP 10/28)

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