FMCSA shuts down carrier after fatal crash, violations

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Trucking news and briefs for Thursday, July 4, 2024:

FMCSA shuts down California-based carrier after deadly crash

Indio, California-based Manrique Agramon, doing business as Monique Trucking, was declared an imminent hazard to public safety and ordered out-of-service by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration following a deadly June 11 crash.

On that day, an employee of Monique Trucking was operating a truck in Colorado when the driver failed to properly maneuver around other vehicles and caused a crash involving six vehicles. One of the drivers of the vehicles involved was killed and others were injured.

Following the crash, FMCSA conducted a compliance investigation and concluded that Monique Trucking is “egregiously noncompliant with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSRs) and has been cited with numerous serious violations of the FMCSRs in an investigation and in roadside inspections.”

Monique Trucking could not be reached for comment Wednesday.

Specifically, FMCSA said the company did not have in place a Controlled Substances and Alcohol Use Testing Program and was not registered in the FMCSA Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse; failed to ensure that the driver employed met CDL standards; failed to comply with hours-of-service requirements; and failed to comply with vehicle maintenance and inspection standards.

FMCSA’s SAFER system shows a 75% vehicle out-of-service percentage for the two-truck fleet, with three OOS orders in four inspections. The company also shows a 100% driver OOS percentage with six inspections.

The investigation revealed that leadership of Monique Trucking demonstrated a lack of knowledge of safety regulations despite receiving multiple roadside violations in the two years preceding the June 11 crash.  

FMCSA’s investigation concluded that Monique Trucking “lacks safety management controls to ensure that its drivers are qualified to operate its CMVs, that its drivers operate its CMVs safely, or that its CMVs are in safe operating condition.”

The OOS order said the cumulative violations of federal regulations “substantially increase the likelihood of death or serious injury to [Monique Trucking] drivers and the motoring public and establish that [the] entire motor carrier operation is an imminent hazard.”  

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Failing to comply with the provisions of the order may result in civil penalties of up to $33,252 for each violation. Motor carriers may also be assessed civil penalties of not less than $13,300 for operating in interstate commerce without operating authority registration, and up to $18,758 for operating a CMV in interstate commerce without USDOT Number registration. Knowing and/or willful violations may result in criminal penalties.

[Related: Previously shutdown trucker's small fleet ordered OOS]

TCA expands Wreaths Across America partnership

The Truckload Carriers Association announced it will participate in the nationwide Truckloads of Remembrance in partnership with the nonprofit Wreaths Across America (WAA).

Numerous TCA members continually volunteer with WAA, whether hauling wreaths to cemeteries or participating in National Wreaths Across America Day in December, and TCA is excited to take part in this program, the group said.

With this new partnership, TCA is registered as a WAA payback Sponsorship Group supporting the efforts for wreath placement at Arlington National Cemetery. TCA will be working to fill one trailer load of sponsored veterans’ wreaths to send to the cemetery this December and is asking for support from its members and the public.

One trailer load is approximately 5,000 wreaths, which will be laid at the final resting place of service members as part of National Wreaths Across America Day. Wreath sponsorships are $17 each, and TCA will receive back $5 per sponsorship, which will go to TCA’s Scholarship Fund. Wreath sponsorships for TCA can be made here.

Since 1973, the TCA Scholarship Fund has been providing scholarships to students associated with the trucking industry. Each scholarship recipient must be a good-standing student attending a four-year or two-year college or university and associated with a TCA member company. Last week, TCA announced that the fund will be providing a total of $168,000 to sixty students for the 2024/2025 academic year.

“TCA is excited to expand its partnership with Wreaths Across America on its Truckloads of Remembrance campaign and help raise awareness and wreaths sponsorships for the mission,” said TCA President Jim Ward. “And to be able to also raise monies for our Scholarship Fund at the same time, that is a win-win.”

Former Yellow execs join Forward Air leadership team

Forward Air Corporation has appointed Jamie G. Pierson its permanent Chief Financial Officer and James Faught Chief Accounting Officer, effective July 3. Pierson was named interim Chief Financial Officer May 20. Faught joins the Company from EVO Transportation, where he served as CFO and previously served as Chief Accounting Officer at Yellow Corporation.

Pierson joined Forward, having most recently served as Chief Financial Officer of MV Transportation, one of the nation’s largest privately owned passenger transportation contracting companies in North America. Prior to joining MV Transportation, he held various senior leadership positions, including Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of Ecobat Technologies and YRC Worldwide, Inc.