Driver placed out of service after fatal crash in Minnesota

A Minnesota truck driver and officer in a trucking company has been placed out of service by the U.S. Department of Transportation for medical reasons following a fatal crash.

The DOT’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) declared Minnesota-licensed truck driver John Ray Carpenter to be an imminent hazard to public safety and ordered him not to operate any commercial motor vehicle in interstate or intrastate commerce.

An FMCSA investigation revealed Carpenter is medically unqualified to operate a commercial motor vehicle. Carpenter, both a driver and the chief executive officer of Hibbing, Minn.-based Carpenter Brothers Services, Inc., which does business as Portable John, USDOT No. 736285, was served the federal order Nov. 6.

According to the FMCSA, on Oct. 22, while driving in Crystal Bay Township, Minn., Carpenter suffered a medical problem, which caused his vehicle to cross into oncoming traffic, collide with a passenger vehicle, and fatally injure the driver.

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

The FMCSA said that in the past four months, investigators also found Carpenter had multiple violations of federal hours-of-service regulations. On the day prior to the fatal crash in October, investigators found evidence that Carpenter had falsified his records of duty status, said a statement by the FMCSA.