FMCSA benches Minnesota trucker after fatal crash

| Monday, November 16, 2015

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has declared a Minnesota trucker an imminent hazard to public safety after a fatal accident prompted an investigation. It was discovered that the trucker had suffered numerous medical episodes while driving. He has been ordered not to operate in either interstate or intrastate commerce.

John Ray Carpenter, driver and CEO of Hibbing, Minn.-based Carpenter Brothers Services, was found to be medically unqualified to operate a truck following an FMCSA investigation. According to a U.S. DOT press release, an investigation was launched after a fatal accident, which occurred less than one month ago.

On Oct. 22, Carpenter suffered a medical problem while driving through Crystal Bay Township, Minn. As a result, his truck veered off into oncoming traffic and crashed into a passenger vehicle. The driver of the passenger vehicle was killed.

In addition to the Oct. 22 crash, investigators found several hours-of-service violations by Carpenter in the past four months. Investigators determined that Carpenter had falsified his driving log the day before the crash.

Following the crash, Carpenter revealed to federal and state investigators that he had experienced approximately six previous episodes involving medical problems while driving, some of which also resulted in crashes.

Carpenter faces civil penalties of up to $2,500 for the first offense, and can be handed penalties of up to $5,000 for a second offense. Criminal charges can be brought by the U.S. Attorney’s office if Carpenter fails to comply with the conditions of the imminent hazards out-of-service order.

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