Driver involved in fatal crash while over hours limits shut down by FMCSA

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has issued an effective shutdown order to a New Mexico-licensed driver who was involved in a fatal crash earlier this year. Investigators say Evaristo S. Mora, who was served with the federal order July 3, was operating in violation of an out-of-service order and was in egregious violation of hours of service limits, says FMCSA.

The agency says that on June 13, Mora was driving in a work zone on U.S. 54 in Pratt County, Kansas, when his vehicle veered into a lane of oncoming traffic, colliding head-on with another tractor-trailer. The driver of the other vehicle was killed, as was a passenger in Mora’s truck cab.

Mora was operating despite having been issued an out-of-service order for violating hours of service regs. Five hours before the crash, he had been placed out of service for 10 hours, following a roadside inspection. His truck and trailer had also been placed out of service for “numerous safety deficiencies,” says FMCSA, including defective brakes and overly worn tires. Mora was charged with involuntary manslaughter by the state of Kansas. He also was cited for following too closely.

Using GPS to reconstruct Mora’s trip, FMCSA investigators say 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 equipped in his truck in prior trips.

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