The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration declared a Tennessee trucker to be an imminent hazard to public safety after his involvement in a fatal hit-and-run crash while under the influence of a controlled substance.
Earnest Paul Biddwell was issued the court order on Oct. 30. Biddwell was involved in a crash on Aug. 3 on State Route 305 in McMinn County, Tenn., after his gooseneck trailer separated and struck another tractor-trailer on the opposite side of the highway. The driver of the truck that was struck died after veering into a ditch.
According to an FMCSA news release, Biddwell continued driving until law enforcement officers stopped him. Police officers found an unnamed control substance in the cab. Biddwell ended up testing positive for a controlled substance.
To make matters worse, Biddwell did not have a valid CDL nor did he have a valid medical certificate. In the past two years from the date of the crash, Biddwell had been cited four times for violations of records-of-duty status and three times for operating a commercial vehicle equipped with a radar detector.
The records-of-duty status violation stems from logs for June and July revealing trips in Kansas, Louisiana, Missouri, Oklahoma, Tennessee and Texas. Within those records, Biddwell named two companies he was driving for. However, Biddwell had not been employed by either of the companies mentioned.
An inspection after the crash found six out-of-service violations with Biddwell’s truck and trailer, including issues with braking components, improper breakaway or emergency braking equipment, fuel tank construction and lighting devices and reflective components.
The order prevents Biddwell from operating any commercial motor vehicle in interstate commerce. Violating the order could result in additional civil penalties and civil enforcement.
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