A drunk truck driver in Maine has been declared an imminent hazard to public safety and was ordered by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) to not operate any commercial motor vehicle.
Randall Weddle was served the FMCSA’s Imminent Hazard Out of Service order June 22, which was the same day he appeared in court in Maine and pleaded not guilty to two counts of manslaughter for killing two people Washington ME.
According to the FMCSA order, while traveling on Route 17 in Knox County ME, the trailer of his rig crossed the center line, tipped, and scattered lumber across the highway. The rig was going 80 MPH in a 55 MPH zone. A pick up truck, minivan and SUV were hit by the rig and the lumber, killing two and injuring several others.
The FMCSA said Weddle’s blood alcohol content (BAC) was 0.09 grams at the crash scene and 0.073 grams at the hospital, both above the legal limit.
Investigators also found that Weddle was in violation of Hours of Service regulations. They also noted during their investigation that Weddle had had a family member secure the straps on the load of lumber while he was asleep in his rig. That family member was transported in the rig, which is against federal regulations without written permission from the motor carrier.
We are appalled as truck crash attorneys in Virginia that some truckers have such low regard for human life that they would drive their rigs drunk. It also is astonishing that a trucker would allegedly have an untrained family member secure a trailer load, which may have led to the deaths of two people.
We are glad that the FMCSA will not let this driver onto the road anytime soon. If he is convicted on the manslaughter charges, he probably will spend the next few years in prison and lose his commercial driver’s license. Hopefully the grieving families will also sue the driver and his company for wrongful death; while this legal action will not bring back beloved family members, the large financial settlements that are possible can help them to at least recover financially from their devastating loss.