FMCSA declares Florida driver an imminent hazard following fatal crash

By Land Line staff | Wednesday, December 03, 2014

A trucker from Jacksonville, Fla., has been declared an imminent hazard to public safety after his involvement in a fatal crash in Virginia last month.

The driver, James H. Patterson, 44, is facing charges of involuntary manslaughter, as well as possession of a controlled substance – a prescribed pain medication – and driving after being declared a habitual offender, due to his license being suspended.

According to a news release from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, Patterson was operating a tractor-trailer at around 6 a.m. on Nov. 13 in Rockingham County, Va., when he crossed the center line. He then ran off the roadway to the left, overcorrected, and overturned on top of a passenger vehicle driven by Connie Stever, 54, of Mathias, W.Va. Stever was killed in the crash.

In addition to the other criminal charges, the imminent hazard order found that Patterson violated federal hours-of-service regulations, used a hand-held cell phone while operating a commercial motor vehicle, and was speeding. 

The imminent hazard order prohibits Patterson from operating any commercial motor vehicle in interstate commerce. Records indicate his next scheduled court appearance on the criminal charges will be Jan. 8, 2015.

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