FMCSA investigating carrier in Michigan truck crash

| 10/10/2003

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration is investigating the trucking company involved in a tanker explosion that killed the truck's driver and shut down some of the ramps connecting two busy interstates, The Associated Press reported.

Police have yet to determine what caused driver David Pickle to lose control of the truck early Monday morning, The Detroit Free Press reported in an Oct. 8 story.

But the crash and explosion – and the resulting shutdown of ramps from Interstate 75 to eastbound Interstate 94 possibly through April – caught the attention of federal officials.

FMCSA spokesman Andy Beck said officials would take a close look at Initial Transport Inc., the carrier for whom Pickle was hauling an estimated 9,000 gallons of gasoline when he crashed.

FMCSA investigators in Lansing, MI, will examine whether the company had complied with federal hazmat handling and training standards; whether the company's drug testing and medical certification of drivers are adequate, and whether the carrier observed federal law limiting the amount of time drivers can spend behind the wheel.

Michigan State Police, who also are investigating the cause of the crash, have ruled out excessive speed. State Police Trooper Tim Rajala, an accident investigator, said the police also found no reason to think the truck Pickle was driving had a defect that played a role in the wreck.

Police records show Pickle was involved in three crashes in 1999 and 2000, but was not found at fault in any of those cases.