Today the FMCSA announced that they have shut down a Georgia based trucking company following an investigation triggered by a fatal crash in August.
FMCSA Declares Georgia Trucking Company An Imminent Hazard
On November 2, the FMCSA ordered Keep On Trucking to immediately cease all operations after federal investigators found that the company “pose[s] an imminent hazard to public safety.”
The investigation into Keep On Trucking started following a fatal crash on August 11 in Spotsylvania, Virginia. According to the FMCSA, company co-owner Dwight Anthony Preddie, 33, was driving a box truck southbound on I-95 and failed to slow for nearly stopped traffic in a construction zone. Preddie reportedly crashed into a Jeep at 63 m.p.h., pushing it into a stopped semi truck.
One person inside the Jeep, 58 year old Vincent J. Mcneese, was killed in the crash. His 51 year old wife, Trina Estrella, was critically injured in the crash. Preddie suffered minor injuries in the crash.
Following the crash, Virginia State Police charge Preddie with reckless driving, driving with a suspended license and operating an uninsured vehicle. He was also found to be in violation of hours of service regulations.
Fatal Crash Sparks Federal Investigation
The crash led federal investigators to take a closer look at Keep On Trucking. This investigation uncovered several violations.
The FMCSA details these violations:
- Failing to comply with any driver qualification requirements, including ensuring that its drivers were properly licensed and physically qualified to operate a commercial motor vehicle. During FMCSA’s investigation, Keep On Trucking officials could not produce any driver qualification file with the requisite employment application, medical certificate, driver road test certificate, state motor vehicle record, prior employer inquiry or record of violations. Records reviewed by FMCSA investigators found that the company had in the past year allowed its drivers to operate without a valid driver’s license, or with a suspended license, or without possessing a valid medical certificate.
- Failing to properly monitor its drivers to ensure compliance with maximum hours-of-service requirements prohibiting fatigued operation of commercial motor vehicles. During FMCSA’s investigation, Keep On Trucking officials could not produce any records-of-duty-status or supporting documents.
- Failing to properly monitor its drivers to ensure the safe operation of the company’s commercial vehicles. During the past year, Keep On Trucking drivers have been cited for numerous violations, including reckless driving, failing to obey traffic control devices and failing to use a safety belt as required by federal regulations.
- Failing to ensure that its vehicles were regularly inspected, maintained, repaired and met minimum safety standards. During FMCSA’s investigation, Keep On Trucking officials could not produce the required maintenance files or records, including copies of roadside inspections or vehicle repair receipts showing that vehicle out-of-service defects had been repaired. In the past 12 months, Keep On Trucking vehicles have been cited at roadside safety inspections for inoperable or defective brakes, broken or missing axle position components, inoperable lights, damaged windshields and battery installation deficiencies.
The FMCSA also says that Keep On Trucking did not maintain minimum levels of insurance and that they failed “to possess the requisite federal operating authority required to conduct interstate commerce.”