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Trucking companies and driver shut down for safety violations

Deadly crash prompted investigation

Posted January 4, 2014

Two trucking companies based in Walterboro, South Carolina, along with an owner-driver, were recently ordered to cease all interstate commercial vehicle operations due to violations of federal regulations.

The companies — one run by the owner-driver and the other by his son — transported refrigerated foods and general freight in the southeastern United States.

On Nov. 27, 2013, the owner-driver’s son was driving a tractor-trailer on Virginia State Route 5 when he lost control of the truck, crossed the center line, and collided with a passenger vehicle resulting in the death of the driver. At the time of the crash, the truck driver was prohibited from operating a commercial motor vehicle. His commercial driver’s license (CDL) had been suspended since 2010 and was later revoked by South Carolina for numerous violations of state and federal safety regulations.

Virginia State Police investigating the crash have charged the truck driver with driving without a driver’s license, reckless driving, operating a commercial motor vehicle while disqualified, possession of alcohol, and other violations.

Following the crash, FMCSA safety investigators began a separate investigation into the father’s trucking company. Investigators found that the company failed to ensure that its drivers were qualified. One driver had been convicted of marijuana possession while on duty, thereby invalidating his CDL, and another was not medically qualified to operate commercial vehicles.

The investigation further revealed violations of federal hours-of-service rules and drug and alcohol testing regulations. The company was unable to produce any drivers’ records of duty status or supporting documentation during the investigation. Federal investigators found that the company failed to routinely inspect, maintain, and repair its vehicles to ensure they were safe to operate.


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