NM driver shut down following double-fatal crash

Updated Jul 9, 2018

The Department Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration declared a New Mexico trucker “an imminent hazard to public safety” and ordered him to not to operate any commercial motor vehicle in interstate commerce.

The FMCSA served Evaristo S. Mora with the federal order July 3.

Mora was essentially shut down by the FMCSA in connection with a collision with another tractor-trailer earlier this year that killed two people.

A statement from FMCS explained:

Out Of ServiceOn June 13, 2018, at approximately 3:55 p.m., Mora, a commercial driver’s license holder, was operating a tractor-trailer in an active work zone along U.S. 54 in Pratt County, Kansas, when the vehicle veered into the oncoming traffic lane, colliding head-on with another tractor-trailer.  The driver of the other vehicle was killed, as was a passenger in Mora’s truck cab.

Following the crash, the State of Kansas charged Mora with two counts of involuntary manslaughter.  He was also cited for following too close and for operating a commercial motor vehicle after being declared out-of-service for violations of federal hours-of-service regulations that are designed to prevent fatigued driving.

Earlier the same day, June 13, 2018, at approximately 10 a.m., following a roadside safety inspection, Mora was placed out-of-service for 10 hours for failing to have any records-of-duty-status.  The tractor-and-trailer Mora was operating likewise was placed out-of-service for numerous safety deficiencies, including inoperative/defective brakes and dangerously worn tires.  Federal safety regulations prohibit any vehicle placed out-of-service from being operated until and unless all the safety violations have been repaired; Mora had repairs done on the tractor, but not on the trailer.

Using (a) global positioning system to reconstruct Mora’s trip, which began June 11, 2018, in El Paso, Texas, FMCSA investigators estimated Mora had been driving continuously for at least 38 of the 45 hours prior to the June 13, 2018, crash.  Investigators found Mora had either disabled or deactivated the electronic logging device equipped in his truck in prior trips.

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