An Ohio-licensed commercial truck driver has been put out-of-service after striking and killing two people on the side of the road, one in July 2018 and the other in December of last year.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration put Doug A. Jones OOS December 27 last year and announced its action today in a news release.
On July 2, 2018, Jones hit and killed a 33-year-old man who was standing along the right shoulder of Interstate 81 South in East Hanover Township, Lebanon County, Pennsylvania. In that fatality, Jones was charged with “careless driving causing the death of another person,” driving too fast for conditions, driving outside his lane before ascertaining the danger, and failing to wear his seatbelt.
Arquimides Flores, 33, of Harrisburg, was killed after being struck by Jones’ vehicle and pronounced dead at the scene, FOX43 News reported.
State Police said Flores was struck by Jones’ tractor-trailer after Jones lost control while traveling in the right lane. At the time of the collision, Flores was standing behind another truck after his vehicle became disabled, police said.
Jones’ vehicle also made contact with the other truck and a guard rail before its trailing unit became dislodged, scattering debris across the roadway, police added.
In the December 7, 2018, fatality, Jones struck and killed 24-year-old highway construction worker Teresa M. Howell of Greenwich, Ohio, just before 9 a.m. on Route 33 near the border of Franklin county.
She was employed by Lake Erie Construction Co., which was contracted by the Ohio DOT.
Jones’ truck drove through orange safety cones on the side of the road and hit Howell and didn’t immediately stop, the Union County Sheriff’s Office reported.
The truck — owned by Mansfield-based Estep Express Inc. — was found more than 90 minutes after the crash at the ODW Logistics warehouse on the 1500 block of Williams Road, 27 miles away from the crash scene, police and news sources reported. Howell left behind two young sons.
Police said it was unknown whether Jones fled the scene or didn’t realize he had hit Howell.
The crash closed all eastbound lanes of Route 33 for several hours.
FMCSA said in its OOS order that Jones’ “ … continued operation of a [CMV] substantially increases the likelihood of serious injury or death to you and the motoring public if not discontinued immediately.”
There may be action against Jones by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for damages, and he could be fined up to $1,848 in civil penalties for each day he operates a CMV in violation of the order. In addition, FMCSA could bring civil penalties against Jones for violating federal safety regulations, the agency noted.
Jones’ age was not given.
Dorothy Cox is former assistant editor – now retired – of The Trucker, and a 20-plus-year trucking journalism veteran. She holds a bachelor’s degree in fine arts and a master’s degree in divinity. Cox has been in journalism since 1972. She has won awards for her writing in both mainstream and trucking journalism.