FMCSA shuts down trucker after fatal head-on crash, DUI charges

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Trucking news and briefs for Thursday, March 11, 2021: 

FMCSA shuts down Ohio-based trucker after wrong-way crash, DUI charges
An Ohio-based truck driver has been effectively shut down by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration following a fatal wrong-way, head-on collision.

According to FMCSA’s imminent hazard order, Travis Lee Tolliver was driving a tractor-trailer in Wise County, Virginia, on Feb. 24, when he traveled in the wrong direction along Route 23 for approximately 2 miles before crashing head-on into another vehicle. The passenger of the vehicle was killed, and the driver was seriously injured. Tolliver was taken to a hospital where he refused to provide blood for drug testing.

He was charged by the Commonwealth of Virginia with manslaughter under aggravated circumstances; driving while intoxicated; driving while under the influence of alcohol or a narcotic drug; and unlawfully, after having been arrested, unreasonably refusing to have a sample of blood taken for chemical tests to determine alcohol or drug content.

An FMCSA investigation found that on the day of the crash, Tolliver had failed to maintain records-of-duty-status. Investigators also found he had in the days leading up to the crash, on multiple occasions, exceeded the allowable on-duty driving hours and failed to maintain records-of-duty-status.

Failing to comply with the provisions of the federal imminent hazard order may result in civil penalties of up to $1,895 for each violation. Knowing and/or willful violations may result in criminal penalties.

Tolliver may not operate a commercial motor vehicle until he successfully completes the statutorily required return-to-duty process overseen by a substance abuse professional.

Bill threatening leased owner-op model passes U.S. HouseThe U.S. House on Tuesday night passed legislation that would, if it makes its way through the Senate, put the leased owner-operator model in jeopardy.

As CCJ reported earlier this week, the Protecting the Right to Organize (PRO) Act of 2021 would, in addition to a number of pro-union labor reforms, institute the so-called ABC test for determining whether a business can contract work to an independent contractor. The PRO Act passed the House by a 225-206 vote, with 220 of 221 Democrats voting in favor, along with 5 Republican representatives. The remaining 205 dissenting votes were from Republicans.

A number of trucking groups have opposed the legislation, including the Truckload Carriers Association, Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association and the Western States Trucking Association.

The legislation is expected to face difficulty in the Senate, with a few moderate Democrats that could decide the legislation's fate.