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Last month, a truck operated by Georgia trucking firm Prudential Carriers was leaking canola oil while traveling on Interstate 75. The driver, William Tanksley, informed the company of the issue. He was instructed to keep driving, as oil slickened the highway for miles in Bibb County. It is estimated that the truck leaked 1,100 gallons of canola oil. The leak caused four separate vehicle crashes. Even police and emergency vehicles heading to the accident sites to provide assistance slid on the road. Officials eventually arrested the driver.
Firefighters and Public Works employees from Macon-Bibb County were called to spread sand on the road to absorb the oil and increase traction after the first accident occurred. However, that did not stop three more accidents from occurring in the wake of the spill. The trucker was stopped near the 193 mile marker in Monroe County. William Tanksley was arrested and charged with having an unsecured load.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration ordered the immediate shut-down of Prudential Carriers on June 5. The out-of-service order stated that the investigation “uncovered widespread regulatory violations demonstrating Prudential’s repeated and egregious non-compliance with federal safety regulations and a management philosophy indifferent to motor carrier safety.” Alleged violation included “failing to ensure its leased and company-owned vehicles were systematically inspected, repaired and maintained; failing to ensure its drivers complied with federal hours-of-service regulations designed to prevent fatigued driving; failing to comply with driver qualification requirements and allowing unqualified drivers to operate a commercial motor vehicle; and failing to comply with FMCSA-mandated random alcohol and controlled substances testing of its drivers.”
The FMCSA also reported that the company’s violations have led to several other accidents across the past nine months. For example, an accident occurred in October of 2014 when a Prudential Carriers driver pulled over onto the right shoulder of I-20 in Douglas County due to the brakes in his truck having overheated. The area the driver pulled over prohibited parking, and the driver fell asleep while waiting for the brakes to cool down. It was at that point another vehicle collided with the truck.
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If you or a loved one were severely injured in an auto accident with a tractor-trailer, the Atlanta truck accident attorneys at Goldstein Hayes & Lina, LLC are here to help.