WASHINGTON – The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has ordered a Beatrice, Alabama-based trucking company, Jeffery Finklea, doing business as J & L Trucking, to immediately cease all interstate and intrastate operations after a federal investigation found the company posed an imminent hazard to public safety.
J & L Trucking, which operates two trucks transporting general freight, was served the federal order on April 24, 2017.
On March 28, 2017, a truck operated by J & L Trucking crossed the center line on Alabama’s State Highway 13 in Fayette County, Alabama, colliding head-on with a passenger vehicle and fatally injuring both of its occupants.
The J & L Trucking driver admitted to Alabama Department of Public Safety officers that he had fallen asleep while driving.
State law enforcement investigators at the crash scene found that the driver did not possess his records-of-duty-status for the preceding seven days and had no valid medical certificate, both required by federal safety regulations.
In addition, the state investigators found multiple violations on the J & L Trucking vehicle, including unsafe, worn tires, and oil and grease leaks.
A post-crash investigation conducted by FMCSA safety investigators further found the company to be in violation of multiple federal safety statutes and regulations, including:
FMCSA’s investigation found that J & L Trucking’s inadequate vehicle maintenance program, its failure to ensure its drivers were qualified and its failure to monitor its drivers for compliance with federal safety regulations “… substantially increase the likelihood of serious injury or death for its drivers and the motoring public if the operations of J & L Trucking are not discontinued immediately.”
J & L Trucking may be assessed civil penalties of up to $25,705 for each violation of the OOS order. The carrier may also be assessed civil penalties of not less than $10,282 for providing transportation requiring federal operating authority registration and up to $14,502 for operating a commercial vehicle in interstate commerce without necessary USDOT registration. If violations are determined to be willful, criminal penalties may be imposed, including a fine of up to $25,000 and imprisonment for a term not to exceed one year.
FMCSA is also considering civil penalties for the safety violations discovered during the investigation and may refer this matter for criminal prosecution.
A copy of the imminent hazard OOS order can be viewed at: https://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/regulations/imminent-hazard-out-service-order-j-l-trucking.