The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has declared Louisiana-licensed truck driver Mark Isiah Gordon to be an imminent hazard to public safety and has ordered him not to operate any commercial motor vehicle in interstate commerce.
The declaration follows his involvement in a fatal crash that occurred earlier this month along U.S. Highway 84 in Concordia Parish, La. Gordon, a commercial driver’s license (CDL) holder, was served the federal order on Oct. 7.
On Oct. 1, 2015, a loaded logging truck operated by Gordon crossed the centerline into on-coming traffic and collided head-on with a pick-up truck, resulting in three fatalities and a serious injury.
Following the crash, Gordon tested positive for amphetamines and methamphetamines. An investigation by FMCSA and the Louisiana State Police (LSP) found that on the day of the crash, Gordon had operated his truck beyond the 14-hour daily on-duty limitation set by federal safety regulations. Numerous additional instances of exceeding hours-of-service limitations, which are designed to prevent fatigued driving, in the preceding seven days prior to the crash were also discovered by FMCSA and state police investigators.
A post-crash inspection of Gordon’s truck revealed seriously deficient brakes that required the vehicle to be placed out-of-service until repaired. Further vehicle safety violations included a cracked frame, and defective wheels/rims, an axle, and the steering system.
Violating an imminent hazard out-of-service order by a CDL holder may result in civil penalties of up to $2,500 and disqualification from operating a commercial vehicle for not less than 180 days for a first offense.
A second offense may result in civil penalties of up to $5,000 and disqualification from operating a commercial vehicle for not less than two years. Failure to comply with the provisions of the imminent hazard out-of-service order may also result in criminal charges brought by the U.S. Attorney’s Office.