Massachusetts company, driver out of service

out of serviceFollowing an accident in which two people died, a Massachusetts truck driver and the company he owns were placed out of service by the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration.

Kamway Services, which is based in Lowell, Massachusetts, was found to be an imminent hazard to public safety and ordered the company to immediately cease all interstate and intrastate commercial operations.  Separately, the FMCSA said it also declared Kamway Service’s owner and driver, John Kamau, to be an imminent hazard to public safety and ordered him to also immediately cease all interstate operations.  The federal orders were served on Dec. 20.

A news release from the FMCSA said:

“On Nov. 18, a Kamway Services box truck driven by Mr. Kamau along Interstate 95 in York County, Maine struck the rear of a passenger vehicle that had slowed due to traffic.  The impact pushed the passenger vehicle into a tractor-trailer truck that was immediately ahead of it.  Both occupants of the passenger vehicle, including a five-old-boy, were killed.

A post-crash investigation by FMCSA safety investigators found that at the time of the crash, Mr. Kamau was medically disqualified from operating a commercial motor vehicle in interstate commerce.”

FMCSA’s investigation found that Kamway Services’ “…complete and utter lack of compliance with (federal safety regulations)… substantially increases the likelihood of serious injury or death for its drivers and the motoring public if (its) operations are not discontinued immediately.”

The agency said its investigators also found the company to be in violation of multiple federal safety statutes and regulations including:

  • Failing to comply with any driver qualification requirements, including ensuring that its drivers were properly licensed and physically qualified to operate a commercial motor vehicle.  During the investigation, a Kamway Services management official stated that it maintained no driver records, including a driver qualification file for Kamau.
  • Failing to properly monitor its drivers to ensure compliance with maximum hours-of-service requirements prohibiting fatigued operation of commercial motor vehicles.  A Kamway Services management official stated the company maintained no records-of-duty-status or supporting documents.
  • Failing to ensure that its vehicles were regularly inspected, maintained, repaired, and met minimum safety standards.  During FMCSA’s investigation, Kamway Services was unable to produce the required maintenance records or periodic vehicle inspection reports.

FMCSA is also considering civil penalties for the safety violations discovered during the investigation and may refer this matter for criminal prosecution.