A truck driver who intentionally struck a California State Inspector with his semi truck has been convicted of a felony assault in court this week.
The incident happened nearly three years ago on April 25th, 2016 at a Pilot Travel Center in Hesperia, California, but the driver was not convicted until this year.
According to The Modesto Bee, two California Air Resources Board inspectors were making their rounds at the Pilot truck stop when they noticed an “older model red Peterbilt” without a diesel particulate filter, a filter required by state law to reduce diesel emissions. The two inspectors then approached the truck and explained their position to the driver, Bhupinder Singhbal, who was working on the rig’s engine. The inspectors asked to inspect the semi truck but Singhbal did not cooperate and attempted to leave the area.
Once it became clear that Singhbal was not going to cooperate, one of the inspectors walked to the front of the tractor trailer in order to photograph the license plate, and that’s when things took a turn for the worse. Singhbal then revved the engine, sending the big rig lurching forward, where it struck the photographing inspector in the shoulder.
Singhbal was later pulled over by the California Highway Patrol, where his truck was thoroughly inspected by CARB inspectors. He was then issued citations for failing to have a diesel particulate filter and for labeling violations and was eventually charged with assault with a deadly weapon.
“The outrageous action of this driver could have severely injured our inspector or others in the area,” said Todd Sax, CARB’s enforcement division chief, pointing out that incidents like this are rare but serious. “Drivers should know that every incident like this assault will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law and our inspectors will continue to enforce California’s strict policies to help protect public health and clean our air.”
Singhbal pleaded guilty to the felony assault charges on February 25th, and was sentenced to probation for 2 years and 9 months.