Hotshot hauler to FMCSA: Can I install sleeper berth in pickup?

Today the FMCSA announced that a Tennessee-based truck driver has been placed out of service following a fatal crash that claimed the life of another truck driver.

Driver Earnest Paul Biddwell, 40, was issued the out of service order on October 30.

From the FMCSA:

“On August 3, 2017, Biddwell, a commercial driver’s license (CDL) holder, was operating a large commercial truck along Tennessee State Route 305 in McMinn County, Tennessee, when the gooseneck trailer separated from the vehicle, traveled across the center line striking a truck-trailer in the opposing lane and causing it to veer off the roadway into the ditch and up an embankment before it overturned.  The driver the overturned vehicle died at the scene.

Fifty-three year old truck driver John H. Hubbard lost his life in the crash.

FMCSA Uncovers Numerous Violations During Post-Crash Investigation

During the investigation into the fatal crash, numerous other violations were uncovered. These include:

  • Biddwell tested positive for controlled substances and controlled substances were found in his truck.
  • Biddwell’s CDL was revoked at the time of the crash.
  • Biddwell did not have a valid medical card at the time of the crash.
  • After the crash, the Tennessee Department of Safety found six out of service violations on the truck and gooseneck trailer, “including serious safety deficiencies covering braking components, improper breakaway or emergency braking equipment, fuel tank construction and lighting devices and refective components.”

The FMCSA also noted numerous violations in Biddwell’s history:

“In the preceding two years, Biddwell had been cited four times for violations of records-of-duty status (RODS) and three times for operating a commercial vehicle equipped with a radar detector.

In addition to the out of service order, Biddwell was charged with vehicular homicide, failure to render aid and give information, failure to give immediate notice of an accident, and leaving the scene of an accident resulting in death.