Truck driver shut down following fatal crash, DUI

Updated Apr 26, 2023

Trucking news and briefs for Tuesday, April 25, 2023:

FMCSA shuts down New York-based driver after DUI, fatal crash

A New York-based truck driver has been effectively shut down by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration after his involvement in a crash that killed four people and resulted in injuries to others.

According to an imminent hazard order, Saul Aquiles Carrera was arrested and charged with vehicular homicide by intoxication, among other things, following the March 26 crash. He collided with another vehicle that was disabled on the side of the highway. The crash occurred on I-81 near Kingsport, Tennessee.

According to FMCSA, Carrera’s blood alcohol concentration was 0.16 -- four times the legal limit for CDL holders -- and beer cans were found in and around the cab of the truck he was driving.

Carrera was subsequently charged with four counts of vehicular homicide by intoxication, driving under the influence, reckless aggravated assault, reckless endangerment, and failure to exercise due care.

Additionally, days earlier on March 12, FMCSA said Carrera was cited for reckless driving, failure to use/improper signal, following another vehicle too closely, and improperly rolling on the left side of the road. It all resulted in an arrest by Kentucky State Police in Carrollton, Kentucky.

Carrera is prohibited from operating a commercial motor vehicle until he has completed all remedial actions outlined in the order.

[Related: FMCSA tightens reporting of drivers' drug and alcohol violation history]

Iowa DOT encourages drivers to park at weigh stations

The Iowa Department of Transportation’s Motor Vehicle Enforcement division is reminding truck drivers that truck parking is available at weigh stations in the state.

In a Facebook post published Monday, the department said truck drivers “are not only allowed, but encouraged, to park at our scale locations for much needed rest,” adding that the locations are “quiet, safe, and the perfect place" to get a good night's (or day’s) sleep.

Additionally, scale locations in Jasper and Dallas counties are having public restrooms built for drivers to use.

In a post last fall encouraging drivers to use scale locations to park, Iowa DOT said it would not disturb drivers parked there for inspections. 

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[Related: How to fight for your right to park the truck]

NHTSA underride committee to hold first meeting

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s newly formed Advisory Committee on Underride Protection (ACUP) will hold its first meeting next month.

The purpose of the ACUP is to provide advice and recommendations to the Secretary of Transportation on safety regulations to reduce underride crashes and fatalities.

The meeting will be held on Thursday, May 25, from 12:30-4:30 p.m. Eastern. Preregistration is required to attend the online meeting. A link permitting access to the meeting will be distributed to registrants within 24 hours of the meeting start time. Those interested in attending can register here once registration is made available, which NHTSA said will be at least one week in advance of the meeting.

The agenda for the meeting covers the committee’s purpose and guidelines, committee member introductions, and selection of the committee chairperson.

[Related: Trailer side-underride-guard rule could bump costs $3K]

Love’s offering discounted services for Roadcheck prep

With the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance’s International Roadcheck inspection blitz now three weeks away, Love’s Travel Stops is helping truck drivers prepare by offering discounts on select services.

Throughout May, owner-operators who purchase a truck care service can receive a free TirePass inspection and $10 off DOT inspections at more than 430 Love’s Truck Care and Speedco locations. Operators can also receive a complimentary visual inspection with the purchase of any truck care service.

“Around the clock, Love’s Truck Care and Speedco team members help drivers get back on the road quickly while helping ensure their trucks are safe and legal,” said Gary Price, executive vice president of Truck Care. “Our deals on inspections will help save professional drivers even more time and money while they fuel up and prepare.”

CVSA International Roadcheck takes place May 16-18 with a focus on anti-lock braking systems (ABS) and cargo securement.

[Related: How owner-ops can avoid, or ace, inspections during Roadcheck]