FMCSA declares three commercial long-haul drivers imminent hazards

By Greg Grisolano, Land Line staff writer | Friday, October 25, 2013

In separate investigations, a trio of long-haul truckers were declared imminent hazards to public safety this week by federal regulators and ordered not to operate commercial vehicles.

The three drivers are Illinois-licensed Stewart G. Snedeker, Michigan-licensed Tracey A. Ferrell, and Texas-licensed Scotty G. Arnst. All three have been involved in crashes that resulted in serious injuries or deaths. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration announced the order in a series of press releases Friday morning.

On June 23, Snedeker, was operating a tractor-trailer on Interstate 75 in Campbell County, Tenn., when he struck a Tennessee Highway Patrol cruiser and a tow truck that were parked on the roadway shoulder with their emergency lights flashing. A Tennessee Highway Patrol trooper was seriously injured in the crash.

Snedeker fled in his truck and was later apprehended by Campbell County Sheriff Deputies approximately 10 miles from the crash scene. He was arrested and charged with driving under the influence of an intoxicant or drug, reckless endangerment, vehicular assault, leaving the scene of a crash with an injury, possession of drug paraphernalia, and other state violations.

“A subsequent investigation by FMCSA determined that Snedeker had potentially disqualifying medical conditions and falsified his medical history to wrongfully obtain a medical examiner certificate required by federal regulations to operate commercial motor vehicles,” the agency’s release stated.

On Sept. 11, Ferrell was operating a tractor-trailer on U.S. Highway 23 in Pickaway County, Ohio, when he crashed into the rear of a passenger vehicle that had stopped for traffic. The driver of the passenger vehicle was killed.

A subsequent investigation by Michigan State Police and FMCSA determined that Ferrell had repeatedly and excessively falsified his driver on-duty records throughout the five-week period prior to the crash. He thereby significantly exceeded federal on-duty time limitations designed to prevent fatigued driving by commercial truck and bus operators. 

FMCSA’s imminent hazard out-of-service order for Ferrell is based on his violation of federal safety regulations.

On Sept. 22, Arnst was operating a tractor-trailer on Arkansas State Highway 7 near Harrison, Ark., when he struck two pedestrians changing a flat tire on the roadway shoulder. Both individuals were killed.

A subsequent investigation by FMCSA determined that Arnst had failed to disclose to three separate employers during the previous nine-month period his involvement in five commercial motor vehicle crashes in addition to his prior terminations as a commercial vehicle operator for high-risk driving. Investigators also found that Arnst had potentially disqualifying medical conditions which he had repeatedly failed to disclose to employers or otherwise had submitted an outdated medical examiner certificate required by federal regulations to operate commercial motor vehicles.

“FMCSA's imminent hazard out-of-service order for Arnst is based on his pattern of unsafe driving, violation of local laws, crashes, falsification of employment applications after crashing, including failure to disclose medical conditions, and violation of federal safety regulations,” the agency’s release stated.

Since the beginning of 2013, FMCSA has declared 10 commercial driver’s license holders as imminent hazards, blocking them from operating in interstate commerce.

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