A tractor trailer raced down the middle of a steep mountain highway in the Pocono Mountains of Pennsylvania Wednesday, striking several other vehicles in what appears to be a case of mechanical failure. According to the Pocono Record, first responders initially reported the crash to be a “mass casualty incident,” but amazingly nobody was hurt in the 10-vehicle collision.
The incident occurred just after 11 a.m. when driver Julio Fernandez, 51, was hauling a load of cardboard for A&D Logistics of North Bergen, New Jersey. State police say that the tractor trailer’s brakes failed as it traveled down the steep stretch of highway. Mr. Fernandez wasn’t able to stop in time to avoid hitting the cars in front of him, but he stayed in the middle of the road where there was more of a clearing, perhaps mitigating the collisions he had with another 8 vehicles before coming to a stop on the shoulder.
According to the Pocono Record, a preliminary investigation found the truck’s brakes were faulty, but the investigation continues to determine if any other mechanical failures may have been in play.
If the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s new Safety Measurement System (SMS) is an accurate predictor of performance, the A&D Logistics truck was an accident waiting to happen. A profile for A&D Logistics Inc. of North Bergen, NJ on the website Quick Transportation Systems Inc., shows the company scores poorly in SMS as of last month.
Using documented violations and other information such as crash statistics, regulators calculate a safety percentile for motor carriers from 0 to 100, with 100 representing the worst performance. A&D received an SMS score of 99 in unsafe truck driving, an 89 in fatigued truck driving (Hours of Service), and a 97 in vehicle maintenance. The company was also designated as “over the threshold” for intervention in all three.
The same company profile says that A&D Logistics is a one-person, one-truck company.