U.S. safety regulators have ordered three long-haul truck drivers from three different states to cease their interstate operations after investigators deemed them to be an imminent hazard to public safety, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) announced.
The three drivers, from Michigan, Texas, and Illinois, were banned from the road following their involvement in crashes, two of which resulted in the deaths of other motorists and a third that left a police officer seriously injured.
On Sept. 13, Michigan-licensed truck driver Tracy Ferrell was operating a tractor-trailer on U.S. Highway 23 in Pickaway County, Ohio, when he crashed into the rear of a passenger vehicle that had stopped for traffic. The driver of the passenger vehicle was killed, and a subsequent investigation determined that Mr. Ferrell had “repeatedly and excessively falsified his driver on-duty records throughout the five-week period prior to the crash,” the FMCSA reported.
The agency also found that Mr. Ferrell had significantly exceeded federal on-duty time limitations designed to prevent commercial truck and bus drivers from driving while fatigued.
On Sept. 11, Texas-licensed truck driver Scotty Arnst was driving a tractor-trailer on Arkansas State Highway 7 near Harrison, Ark., when he struck two people changing a flat tire on the roadway shoulder. Both individuals were killed. An FMCSA investigation found that Mr. Arnst had failed to disclose to three separate employers during the previous nine-month period his involvement in five commercial motor vehicle crashes in addition to his prior terminations as a commercial vehicle operator for high risk driving.
FMCSA investigators also found Mr. Arnst had potentially disqualifying medical conditions, which he had repeatedly failed to disclose to employers. In some circumstances, Mr. Arnst submitted an outdated medical examiner certificate required by federal regulations to operate commercial motor vehicles.
The FMCSA also reported that Illinois-licensed driver Stewart Snedeker had been banned from operating a commercial motor vehicle after a June 23 crash on I-75 in Campbell County, Tenn. In that incident, Mr. Snedeker was driving a tractor trailer when he struck a Tennessee Highway Patrol cruiser and a tow truck that were parked on the shoulder with their emergency lights flashing. The collision left a Tennessee Highway Patrol trooper seriously injured.
According to the FMCSA, Mr. Snedeker fled in his truck and was later apprehended by Campbell County Sheriff Deputies approximately 10 miles from the crash scene where he was arrested and charged with driving under the influence of an intoxicant or drug, reckless endangerment, vehicular assault, leaving the scene of a crash with an injury, possession of drug paraphernalia, and other state violations.
“It is unacceptable for a truck or bus company, or any of its drivers, to disregard the law and put travelers at risk,” FMCSA Administrator Anne Ferro said in a statement. “We will continue our aggressive efforts to prevent unsafe commercial drivers from getting behind the wheel and endangering the public.”