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WOODMORE BUS CRASH

Records reveal Durham School Services' track record

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CHATTANOOGA, TN (WRCB) -

Channel 3 took a look at Durham School Services' track record across the country including its hiring practices. 

The company provides nearly 200 bus drivers for Hamilton County. In 2007, Durham won the contract for the school system.

Sources at the time told Channel 3 it was because of a lower bid, higher wages, and better benefits.

"I have really struggled to get my mind wrapped around what's happened here in Chattanooga," David Duke, CEO of Durham School Services.

Duke has not agreed to media interviews, but released a video statement on Wednesday.

READ MORE | UPDATE: Durham CEO responds to tragic bus crash

Records from the U.S. Department of Transportation show 346 crashes nationwide in two years involving Durham vehicles. Three of those were fatal.

One happened in Memphis in September and now this one with at least five deaths here in Chattanooga

"I can't fathom the anguish of the parents who children were involved in this horrific accident and that involved one of my company's buses," Duke said.

The Illinois based company has thousands of drivers and vehicles. Its government record is "satisfactory." 

When Hamilton County switched to Durham, the company put two security cameras in each bus and promised driver background checks.

Recent ads show the salary starts at $13.30 an hour and no experience is required. Drivers have to be at least 21.

The CEO says he wants answers.

"Answers about why this tragedy occurred and answers for how we can make sure this never, ever happens again," Duke said.

READ MORE | Channel 3's coverage of the Woodmore bus crash

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