- Jan 31st 2014 at 11:00AM
Trucker Caused Fatal Crash After 36 Hours On Road
Federal law limits truckers to 11 hour shifts
A truck driver who had been on the road for 36 hours killed an Illinois tollbooth worker and critically injured a state trooper Monday after the truck slammed into three emergency vehicles near Aurora, Ill.
Prosecutors alleged that a lack of federal oversight and an unscrupulous trucking company with a poor record of adherence to regulations may have allowed Renato Velasquez to falsify logbooks and drive much longer than the federal limits allow, The Chicago Tribune reported. Federal law prohibits commercial drivers from operating vehicles when their ability or alertness is impaired by fatigue or illness, and they cannot drive for more than 11 hours without a mandatory 10-hour break.
This isn't the first time Velasquez has faced federal charges. In 2001, Velasquez served time on a federal drug charge, according to ABC 7. He was still able to get a commercial license however, since the Secretary of State cannot deny a commercial driver's license unless the crimes include a commercial vehicle. There were no drugs or alcohol in Velasquez's system at the time of Monday's crash.
Recently, federal officials began stepping up regulation enforcement in the trucking industry. In a whistleblower case earlier this month, a trucking company was ordered in Federal court to stop retaliating against drivers who adhered to OSHA standards and refused to drive when they were too sick or tired to make their runs.