Federal regulators declared a North Carolina-licensed commercial truck driver to be “an imminent hazard to public safety” and barred him from operating any commercial vehicles after he allegedly caused a fatal accident in New York City and left the scene.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) said that Simranjeet Singh Sandhu, 23, of Durham, North Carolina, was driving a tractor-trailer on the Cross Bronx Expressway in New York March 27 when he erratically switched lanes without signaling and struck a car, fatally injuring the driver.
Caesar Contreras, 25, was pronounced dead at the scene of the crash on the George Washington Bridge. Two women in the car with him, ages 28 and 29, survived the crash but were critically injured.
Approximately five hours after the crash, police officers found Mr. Sandhu sleeping in his truck that was parked at a rest stop in Ridgefield, New Jersey. The vehicle had extensive front end collision damage with liquids dripping from the engine compartment.
Awoken by the police, Mr. Sandhu initially denied being involved in a motor vehicle crash. He later told police that the damage to his truck was caused by a rock he had hit as he was backing up. Police detected the presence of alcohol and Sandhu was subject to a field sobriety test and a breathalyzer test. He failed both tests.
Police further found three commercial driver’s licenses, all in Sandhu’s name, from the states of North Carolina, Illinois and California. Federal regulations prohibit the possession of multiple commercial driver’s licenses.
FMCSA’s imminent hazard out-of-service order states that Sandhu’s continued operation of a commercial motor vehicle “… substantially increases the likelihood of serious injury or death to you and the motoring public if not discontinued immediately.”
Mr. Sandhu was arrested for driving under the influence and he faces multiple other charges in connection with the deadly crash.