S.C. driver shut down after involvement in fatal hit-and-run, Mass. trucking company shut down

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Updated Mar 20, 2016

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration issued effective shutdown orders recently to a South Carolina-licensed driver involved in a fatal hit-and-run and a Massachusetts-based trucking company that the agency says failed to maintain equipment and oversee its drivers.

South Carolina-licensed truck driver Stevie Wolfe Breland has been issued a shutdown order by the FMCSA following his involvement in a fatal hit-and-run crash along I-77 in Chester County, S.C. in February.

An investigation by South Carolina and FMCSA investigators found that Breland had falsified his logs to show he had been in Charleston, S.C., when he was actually in Chester County. On Feb. 11, three days after the crash occurred, South Carolina law enforcement identified Breland as the hit-and-run driver involved in the fatal crash. The investigation also revealed he had been involved in two other crashes in the preceding eight months leading up to this crash in which he rear-ended other vehicles.

On Feb. 8 at approximately 3:10 a.m., a truck driven by Breland ran into the back of a Ford Explorer, causing it to run off the road and overturn, fatally injuring one of its occupants, the investigation revealed.

After hitting the car, Breland fled the scene and later got rid of the front bumper of his truck before completing the delivery of an intermodal shipping container to Jonesville, N.C., according to FMCSA’s report. Upon returning to his company’s terminal in Charleston, S.C., he told his employers he had hit a deer, then he had his bumper repaired.

FMCSA’s imminent hazard out-of-service order states that Breland’s “…continued operation of a commercial motor vehicle substantially increases the likelihood of serious injury or death to you and the motoring public.”

Massachusetts-based trucking company J and J Transportation has been declared an imminent hazard to public safety and ordered to immediately shut down operations by the FMCSA after the company failed to produce certain records during a compliance review.

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The compliance review was initiated after a J and J Transportation truck was involved in a single-vehicle fatal crash on Dec. 4. The post-crash investigation by New York State Police revealed multiple violations by the driver of hours-of-service regulations. The same driver had been cited for false records-of-duty status during roadside inspections on Oct. 20 and Dec. 2. During the compliance investigation, J and J couldn’t show it took any action following the two violations that its drivers complied with regulations.

FMCSA says in the February compliance review, the company either refused or was unable to produce the following:

•Vehicle maintenance records, including servicing schedules, or documentation showing the company had a vehicle maintenance program
•Drivers’ vehicle inspection reports or evidence that drivers conducted pre- and post-trip inspections
•Evidence that defects found in previous roadside inspections had been corrected before allowing the vehicle to be dispatched again
•Records for a majority of its drivers addressing driver qualification documentation, which led to the company dispatching multiple drivers with suspended CDLs
•Medical examiner’s certificates for its drivers
•Complete records-of-duty status for its drivers or supporting documents, such as fuel and toll receipts
•Records for a majority of its drivers showing they went through mandatory pre-employment controlled substance tests

FMCSA says J and J’s “continued use of unsafe vehicles and its failure to adequately oversee its drivers to ensure compliance with federal safety regulations substantially increases the likelihood of serious harm to its drivers and to the motoring public.”

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