Driver declared imminent hazard after crash kills 3

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The Missouri trucker involved in a July crash that killed a mother and her two children has been declared an imminent hazard to public safety and ordered not to operate any commercial motor vehicle in interstate commerce.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration served Bruce Andrew Pollard with the order Aug. 2.

Bruce Pollard 2On July 14, Pollard was operating a tractor-trailer in an active work zone along Interstate 465 eastbound near Keystone Avenue in Indianapolis, Indiana, when his truck, traveling faster the posted speed limit, collided into the rear of a line of vehicles, according to the FMCSA.  A fire erupted and two young children and their mother were killed; seven other individuals were hospitalized.

Indiana State Police arrested and charged Pollard with three counts of reckless homicide, and one count of reckless operation of a vehicle in a highway work zone.

The FMCSA said its investigation found Pollard had a history of careless driving and had been disciplined and later terminated in April of this year by his previous employer for repeated instances of unsafe driving.

In applying for his latest truck driving position in June, Pollard failed to disclose his employment with the previous motor carrier, failed to disclose his termination and the reason for his termination, according to the FMCSA. Pollard falsely certified on his job application that he had not previously been involved in a crash. FMCSA said it’s a violation of federal regulations to make fraudulent or intentionally false statements on a safety-sensitive, document.

FMCSA’s imminent hazard out-of-service order says Pollard’s “blatant and egregious violations of [federal safety regulations], local operating laws … and ongoing and repeated disregard for the safety of the motoring public … substantially increases the likelihood of serious injury or death to you and the motoring public.”

Failure to comply with the provisions of a federal imminent hazard out-of-service order may result in action by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for equitable relief and punitive damages.  Civil penalties of up to $1,848 may be assessed for each violation of operating a commercial motor vehicle in violation of the order.  Knowing and/or willful violation of the order may also result in criminal penalties.

Pollard also may be subject to a civil penalty enforcement proceeding brought by FMCSA for his violation of the agency’s safety regulations.

An earlier report of the accident said Pollard was reaching for an iced tea at the time of the crash.