Gunther bus company says it's still running
It's been a bad week to be a transportation company owner with the surname Gunther.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration announced this week that Gunthers Transport LLC, a Hanover-based trucking company, had been ordered off the road after the agency found a pattern of safety violations that posed an "imminent hazard" to public safety.
The news of that order to discontinue operations immediately had the unintended consequence of tarnishing the reputation of Gunther Charters Inc., a bus company that also has the misfortune to be based in Hanover.
Gunther Charters put out a news release Friday stressing that it is not affiliated with Gunthers Transport, which was accused of a long list of violations of federal trucking regulations. The trucking firms' vehicles have been involved in at least seven serious crashes in the past year, the agency said in an order released Wednesday. One of the truck company's crashes this year led to a death. Gunthers Transport was cited for multiple violations in that case.
Gunther Charters owner Martin E. Gunther released this statement:
I assure all of our travelers and customers that Gunther Charters & Tours, operate strictly by the laws set forth by FMCSA. Gunthers holds the highest possible safety ratings given by the FMCSA and the U.S. Department of Defense. We take great pride in our safety policies and measures.
Martin Gunther is the brother of Mark D. Gunther, owner of Gunthers Transport and a convicted violator of federal transportation laws when he headed Gunthers Leasing Transport during the 1990s.
Timothy Wilson, Gunther Charters' sales director, said the fraternal connection has been costly to the bus company. He said the company has been ""inundated" with calls from customers who want to cancel charters.
"Our clients have been scared into pandemonium," Wilson said. Since the news broke, the bus company has been engaged in "damage control," he said.