A New Mexico-licensed tractor-trailer driver was arrested and ordered off the roads after an inspection following a deadly crash in Kansas turned up multiple violations.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) said that on June 13, commercial truck driver Evaristo Mora was driving a tractor-trailer through a work zone on U.S. 54 in Pratt County, Kansas, when his vehicle veered into oncoming traffic.
Mr. Mora’s truck collided with another tractor-trailer head-on, killing the driver of that truck and a passenger in the cab of Mr. Mora’s vehicle.
According to the FMCSA, Mr. Mora had been driving despite having an out-of-service order for violating hours of service regulations, which are intended to prevent commercial drivers from drowsy driving. Five hours before the crash, Mr. Mora had been placed out of service for 10 hours following a roadside inspection.
Mr. Mora’s tractor-trailer was also placed out of service for “numerous safety deficiencies,” including defective brakes and overly worn tires, the FMCSA said.
After the deadly Kansas crash, Mr. Mora was arrested and charged with involuntary manslaughter. He was also cited for following too closely.
Using GPS to reconstruct Mr. Mora’s trip, FMCSA investigators found Mr. Mora had been driving continuously for at least 38 of the 45 hours prior to the crash. Investigators found Mora had either disabled or deactivated the electronic logging device (ELD) equipped in his truck in prior trips.
The FMCSA deemed Mr. Mora to be “an imminent hazard to public safety” and has ordered him not to operate any commercial motor vehicle in interstate commerce. Authorities served Mr. Mora the federal out-of-service order on July 3, 2018.