Calif. driver's fatal crash into house leads to FMCSA shutdown order

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A California-licensed trucker has been effectively shut down by the federal government following an incident late last year when his truck left the highway, crashed into a house killing one person and injuring two more. 

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration recently declared Daniel Tobon, a/k/a Daniel Moran, a/k/a Daniel Tabon, to be an imminent hazard to public safety and has ordered him not to operate any commercial motor vehicle in interstate commerce. Tobon was served the federal order March 9.

On Dec. 31, 2020, Tobon was driving a tractor-trailer that crashed into a house in Mesa, Arizona, killing one person and seriously injuring two others. FMCSA said Tobon was exiting U.S. 60 at Crismon Road when the vehicle failed to stop at the off-ramp intersection, crossed over a center curb, struck a signal pole, and crashed through a masonry block wall before smashing into the front entrance of the residence and destroying the house.

A statement from the FMCSA said the crash report prepared by the Mesa Police Department noted it appeared Tobon made no evasive driving maneuver to avoid the crash, adding one of the possible influencing conditions for the crash was “illness or physical impairment.”

FMCSA investigators found that in September of 2020, Tobon had fraudulently certified his USDOT/FMCSA medical examination report form; he also fraudulently certified the form in September 2018.  

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The FMCDSA said the medical certification process is designed to ensure CDL holders are physically qualified to operate commercial vehicles safely. Each driver is required to complete a health history section and certify that the responses are complete and true. The driver further certifies that he/she understands that inaccurate, false or misleading information may invalidate the examination and medical examiner's certificate. Deliberate omission or falsification of information concealing a disqualifying medical condition may also result in civil penalties.

FMCSA’s imminent hazard out-of-service order states that Tobon’s “…. continued operation of a commercial motor vehicle while medically unqualified poses a significant danger to you and the motoring public …. if not discontinued immediately.”

Failing to comply with the provisions of the federal imminent hazard order may result in civil penalties of up to $1,928 for each violation.  Knowing and/or willful violations may result in criminal penalties. 

Tobon may not operate a commercial motor vehicle until such time he successfully completes a return-to-duty process including obtaining a valid medical certification issued by a certified medical examiner.