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Driver shut down over fatal crash, HOS violations

A Louisiana truck driver has been declared to be an imminent hazard to public safety by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration and issued an effective shutdown order following a fatal crash earlier this month.

Mark Isiah Gordon was ordered by the FMCSA to not operate any commercial motor vehicle in interstate commerce after his involvement in a fatal crash along U.S. Highway 84 in Concordia Parish, La., earlier this month.

According to FMCSA, Gordon was driving a loaded log truck on Oct. 1, and he crossed over the center line into oncoming traffic and collided head-on with a pickup truck, resulting in three fatalities and a serious injury.

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Following the crash, Gordon tested positive for amphetamines and methamphetamines, FMCSA said in a press release. An investigation by FMCSA and the Louisiana State Police found that Gordon had exceeded the 14-hour on-duty limit the day of the crash. Investigators also found several additional instances of Gordon exceeding this limit in the seven days leading up to the crash.

A post-crash inspection of Gordon’s truck revealed deficient brakes the required to vehicle to be placed out-of-service until repaired. Other vehicle safety violations included a cracked frame and defective wheels/rims, axle and the steering system.

Violating an imminent hazard out-of-service order could result in penalties up to $2,500 and disqualification from operating a commercial vehicle for not less than 180 days for a first offense.  A second offense may result in civil penalties of up to $5,000 and disqualification from operating a commercial vehicle for not less than two years.  Failure to comply with the provisions of the imminent hazard out-of-service order may also result in criminal charges brought by the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

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Matt Cole is an Associate Editor for CCJ and Overdrive. Reach him at mattcole@randallreilly.com.