The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) ordered a Texas motor carrier to immediately cease operations following a crash that left a Tennessee police officer dead last month.
On March 4, 2022, Houston-based trucking company Koboat Trucking LLC was served a federal order requiring the carrier to to immediately cease all interstate and intrastate operations.
The out of service order was issued following a crash that killed Loudon Country Sheriff’s Sergeant Chris Jenkins on February 3, 2022.
On that date, Koboat Trucking driver Christopher M Savannah was traveling on I-75 in Loudon County, Tennessee when he “ignored a rolling roadblock and crashed into 2 cars before killing the Sergeant, who had stopped to remove a ladder obstructing the roadway.”
According to the FMCSA, Savannah did not have a commercial driver’s license, was prohibited from operating commercial motor vehicles due to a previous positive drug test, and was arrested for being under the influence of marijuana at the time of the crash.
FMCSA investigators determined that Koboat Trucking was “egregiously noncompliant” with multiple Federal safety regulations, including: Controlled Substances and Alcohol Use and Testing, Commercial Driver’s License Standards, Driver Qualification , Hours of Service of Drivers, and Vehicle Inspection, Repair, and Maintenance.
Koboat Trucking took no action to ensure its driver was eligible to drive; had it done so, it would have discovered that the driver was not properly licensed, and was prohibited from driving its truck due to a drug test conducted in March 2020 that came back positive for marijuana. In fact, Koboat Trucking had no safety management controls in place. Koboat Trucking did not have a program to detect and deter the use of controlled substances by its drivers, did not have a program to ensure its drivers were qualified and licensed, did not have a program to control its drivers’ hours of service, and did not have a program to ensure its vehicles were appropriately inspected and repaired. Koboat Trucking exercised virtually no oversight over its drivers or vehicles and thus abdicated all responsibility for safety.
FMCSA’s imminent hazard out-of-service order states that Koboat Trucking’s “…complete and utter disregard for the [federal safety regulations] substantially increases the likelihood of serious injury or death for your drivers and the motoring public if your operations are not discontinued immediately.”
Savannah was also declared an imminent hazard by the FMCSA and ordered not to operate a commercial vehicle in interstate commerce.