FMCSA shuts down driver after fatal accident

A Virginia-based truck driver has been shut down by the federal government following two accidents in less than 24 hours, including one that resulted in a fatality.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration Wednesday announced it had declared Carlos Alberto Garcia an imminent hazard to public safety and ordered him not to operate any commercial motor vehicle in interstate commerce.

In a public statement, the FMCSA explained why:

Accident scene in which one man was killed and another injured June 24 (All Hands Working Facebook page)Accident scene in which one man was killed and another injured June 24 (All Hands Working Facebook page)

On June 24, Garcia was operating a large commercial truck along Interstate 495 outside of Washington, D.C., when, at about 3:50 p.m., he drifted into a caution-striped, paved median area striking two people who had stopped their vehicle to re-secure a boat to a trailer they were towing. One person was killed and the other was seriously injured.

An investigation by Virginia State Police found that Garcia was in what the FMCSA called “egregious violation” of federal hours-of-service regulations. The agency said Garcia, at the time of the crash, had been on-duty and driving for more than 103 hours over the previous eight days and taken only one 10-hour off-duty period.

The FMCSA added that 19 hours earlier, on June 23, at about 9:30 p.m., Garcia crashed a different truck he was operating into the rear of a Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority bus, injuring numerous passengers.

FMCSA’s imminent hazard out-of-service order said Garcia’s continued operation of a commercial motor vehicle “… substantially increases the likelihood of serious injury or death to you and the motoring public if not discontinued immediately.”