Ex-Whole Foods driver involved in fatal accident convicted of false logs

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A former driver for Whole Foods Market Group was convicted on charges of falsifying his logbooks in connection with a deadly accident with a bus that killed five people, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Inspector General’s Office.

Michael J. Kozlowski was convicted May 13 after a two-day trial in U.S. District Court in Madison, Wis., on five counts of false statements regarding his record-of-duty status or daily logbooks, DOT-OIG says. According to court documents, it was alleged that from Aug. 31 to Oct. 11, 2005, Kozlowski falsified his daily logbooks by claiming that he had been in the sleeper berth for the required 10 hours when it later was determined that was not true, DOT-OIG says.

On Oct. 16, 2005, Kozlowski provided his daily logs, which were falsified, to a Wisconsin State Patrol Officer after being involved in a deadly accident in Eau Claire County, Wis., according to DOT-OIG. Kozlowski’s semi-tractor had veered off Interstate 94, tipped over and slid down the interstate on its side. Within seconds, a bus carrying the Chippewa Falls High School band members and staff struck the truck, causing the deaths of five passengers.

DOT-OIG says that in a post-trial interview, the jury foreman commented that the jury was convinced by GPS and electronic toll booth data that showed Kozlowski was driving during periods he claimed to be in the sleeper berth. Kozlowski’s sentencing has been set for July 24, according to DOT-OIG, which conducted the investigation.