Victor Kalinitichll, Valerjis Belovs and Joseph Jadczak Jr. were sentenced April 26 in Montgomery County Court of Common Pleas in Norristown, Pa., on charges related to an accident in which one person died and five others were seriously injured when a commercial vehicle operated by Belovs drove into stopped traffic. Kalinitichll was sentenced to 23 months incarceration, a $2,000 fine and ordered to pay $26,000 in restitution. Belovs was sentenced to 23 months incarceration and a $300 fine. Jadczak also was sentenced to 23 months incarceration and fined $1,000.
The U.S. Department of Transportation Office of Inspector General said an investigation determined that the crash on U.S. 76 in Philadelphia was a result of the fact that the tractor-trailer’s brakes were extremely dangerous. Both the driver of the tractor-trailer, Belovs, and its owner, Kalinitichll, admitted they were aware of the dangerous brake condition and took no steps to fix the problem; Belovs continued to drive the truck at Kalinitichll’s direction.
According to DOT-OIG, the investigation further determined that despite the condition of the brakes, the commercial vehicle displayed a valid inspection sticker provided by Jadczak, the owner of Pratts Auto Service in Philadelphia. Jadczak admitted that he had not inspected the truck and permitted Kalinitichll to operate the vehicle with the dangerous brake condition. DOT-OIG said its analysis of Belovs’ regulated driver logbooks revealed that he was driving in excess of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s maximum hours of operating a commercial vehicle at the time of the accident.
Kalinitichll and Belovs both previously had pled guilty to various state charges, including one felony count of homicide by vehicle, while Kalinitichll had admitted that he solicited, received and affixed illicit inspection stickers on commercial trucks he owned; likewise, Jadczak also pled guilty and admitted that he provided fraudulent commercial vehicle inspection stickers without actually performing any vehicle inspections.
DOT-OIG said the investigation was worked jointly with the Montgomery County District Attorney’s Office and the Pennsylvania State Police with assistance from FMCSA.