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Driver Of Bus That Burned Killing 23 During Hurricane Rita Is An Illegal Alien

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Well, here's a surprise. Juan Robles Gutiérrez, 37, the driver of the bus that burned during hurricane Rita, killing 23, has been found to be an illegal alien who was living in a trailer on Global Limo Inc.'s property. It seems obvious that they either knew of his illegal status or chose to ignore it.

Houston Chronicle

Relatives of Robles, who was driving the bus when the fire broke out, said he's not to blame and remained in Texas this week to face authorities rather than flee to Mexico. But now he's behind bars and in anguish, his relatives say, waiting to see if he'll be deported.


Robles' troubles don't end with possible deportation. On Wednesday, he was named a defendant in the first lawsuit filed in the bus fire.The lawsuit, filed in state district court in Hidalgo County, accuses Robles, along with Global Limo Inc. and the nursing-home company, of negligence.


Federal agents picked up Robles at Global's offices on Jackson Road in Pharr, where the journeyman bus driver lived in a travel trailer on company property.


Federal officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the inquiry is being widened to see whether Global has employed other drivers who were not legal residents.

Juan Robles, according to brother Carlos Robles, has been in the country without documents since last year and had worked for Global Limo since February. The driver, whose wife was living with him, lost his Border Crossing Card last year after it was seized by immigration agents at a port of entry, Carlos Robles said.

Carlos Robles said Global owner James H. Maples owes his brother $14,000 in back pay for work this year and last. On Tuesday, Maples gave Robles' wife, Maria de Robles Rangel, $500.

While this illegal alien may not be to blame for the poor maintenance of the bus, he is to blame for being in this country illegally. I have no sympathy. As for the company owner, he should be put in jail for a good long time and I hope he loses all the lawsuits.

Tipped by: California Yankee who has more on the lawsuit.

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Posted by Digger on September 30, 2005 01:23 PM (Permalink)

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He was driving a commercial vehicle in Texas. He's required to have a Tx CDL. If he were doing things legally, he was required to drive a safe vehicle. He was required to do a daily safety check, and deadline the vehicle if ANY safety problems were found.

Questions- Did he have a CDL?
If not, why was he allowed to drive?
Who else is going to hang?

Posted by: KurtP on October 1, 2005 09:11 PM

I know Mr Robles personally, I worked with Global Limo. If MR Robles was indeed illegally in this country, HOw did he get across the Immigration check point.ONce you leave the Rio Grande Valley you have to go throught a check Point. I go thru there everyday. EVERYONE Gets check. So My question to everyone .HOW DOES SOMEONE WHO IS ILLIGALLY HERE GET THOUGH THE BORDER PATROL CHECKPOINT.Like I said MR Robles was an excellant driver, and I dont believe he would intentionally let anyone did without at least trying to help

Posted by: Rene on October 27, 2005 09:28 AM

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