Feds Ban Three Truckers From Interstates, Citing 'Imminent' Risk to Public Safety

Those ordered off U.S. highways include tractor-trailer driver who overdosed behind the wheel and another involved in fatal crash. 

EXCHANGE JONES PYE
NURI VALLBONA—AP

Federal authorities this week banned three commercial truck drivers and one trucking company from operating on U.S. interstates, calling them "an imminent hazard to public safety."

On Friday, the U.S. Department of Transportation's Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration said Scotty Kinmon, a Kentucky-licensed truck driver, was served a federal order telling him he could not drive any commercial motor vehicle in interstate commerce.

Kinmon, one of three truckers ordered off U.S. highways in recent days, was driving a large commercial truck on Interstate 74 in Hamilton County, Ohio, in August when his vehicle slowed and then began to roll backwards, the agency said in a news release. The tractor-trailer rolled backwards into adjacent lanes before jackknifing and crashing into a guardrail, with Kinmon found unresponsive in his cab.

Treated at the scene for an overdose of a controlled substance and transported to a hospital, the crash came three days after Kinmon had been stopped and ticketed for impaired driving in Summit County, Ohio, the FMCSA said. He was also found guilty of disorderly conduct after an overdose in his truck in Cincinnati, Ohio, in July.

A separate action, announced Thursday, involved the agency ordering a California-licensed trucker on U.S. interstates in the wake of a fatal crash in Pinal County, Arizona.

Dharm Lingam was driving a large commercial truck in September when he lost control of his vehicle and collided with another tractor-trailer, killing the driver, the FMCSA said. The agency found Lingam had not revealed a medical condition that disqualified him from driving a commercial vehicle.

Duane DeBruyne, a spokesperson for the FMCSA, said in a phone interview that he could not disclose Lingam's medical condition. 

While state authorities often mirror federal licensing actions, the FMCSA orders don't necessarily have any bearing on the ability to legally drive within a state. "The Fede can block you from interstate commerce," DeBruyne said of the orders halting the truckers from driving from one state into another.

The FMCSA also announced Thursday imminent hazard orders to Even Flo Logistics, a Tumwater, Washington-based trucking company, and to Shawn Roberts, an Even Flo driver.

Roadside inspections in multiple states this year found repeated safety violating requiring Roberts to be placed out-of-service at a rate more than 13 times the national average, the federal agency said. Even Flo violated federal safety regulations including failing to ensure its drivers were licensed and complied with rules meant to keep fatigued drivers off the roads.

The company has at least twice violated an October order that it cease operations, the FMCSA said.