Driver shut down after fatal crash with another truck


A California truck driver has been shut down by the Department of Transportation following a fatal crash in September.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration today declared California-licensed truck driver Dharm Lingam to be an imminent hazard to public safety and has ordered him not to operate any commercial motor vehicle in interstate commerce.

Out of ServiceA statement from the FMCSA said that on Sept. 17, Lingam, “was operating a large commercial truck on Interstate 10 in Pinal County, Arizona, when he lost control of his vehicle, crossed the median and collided with another tractor-trailer killing the driver.”

Prior to the crash, according to the FMCSA, the Arizona Department of Public Safety received several 9-1-1 calls from motorists to report that Lingam’s tractor-trailer was being operated in an erratic and unsafe manner.

The FMCSA said its investigation discovered that Lingam, at the time of the crash, had a medical condition that disqualified him from operating a CMV in interstate commerce under federal safety regulations.  The investigation also revealed that Lingam had provided untrue responses to a federal medical qualification questionnaire he completed and signed on July 31, according to the FMCSA statement.

On Sept. 18, said the FMCSA, Lingam refused to provide a mandatory post-crash urine sample. Under federal safety regulations, refusal to provide a urine sample immediately following a fatal CMV crash is treated as a positive test result. That automatically disqualified Lingam from operating a CMV in interstate commerce, according to the FMCSA.

FMCSA’s imminent hazard out-of-service order says Lingam’s continued operation of a commercial motor vehicle in interstate commerce “… substantially increases the likelihood of serious injury or death if not discontinued immediately.”