FMCSA’s Bad Truck Drivers: A Closer Look at the Four Truck Drivers Labeled “Imminent Hazards” by the Federal Agency in 2020

FMCSA Bad Truck Drivers

It isn’t often that the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) issues a press release about a truck driver. While trucking accidents resulting in serious injury or death happen every day all over the country, the Feds rarely blast out a press release about a driver. 

In 2020, the FMCSA only issued this very grave hand-slap four times. The press releases in 2020 involved truck drivers in Nevada, Ohio, New Jersey, and Arizona. So who were these drivers? What did they do? And why, did the FMCSA determine a press release needed to be issued about them? Let’s take a closer look. 

Imminent Hazard #1: Mamadou Diaby of Nevada 

Wednesday, January 15, 2020: Two weeks into the New Year of 2020, FMCSA named their first Imminent Hazard: Mamadou Diaby. The title of the release was “FMCSA Declares Nevada Trucking Company Owner/Driver to be an Imminent Hazard.” 

On January 3, 2020,  Diaby was served a federal order to not operate any commercial motor vehicle on interstate commerce. Fortunately, and incredibly, Diaby did not cause an accident. Although 4 U Logistics was involved in a fatal accident on March 12, 2019, the company driver had been slowing down when he was rear-ended by a box-truck driver. The 4 U Logistics Driver (unclear if it was Diaby as two drivers were registered with the carrier) was not cited for the box truck driver’s death.  But the January 3, 2020 order from the Feds did not come with no warning. 

We know from a close look at the Safety Measurement System (SMS) report,  4 U LOGISTIC’S INC, U.S. DOT#: 2995923 received the following violations since receiving its motor carrier authority on June 30, 2017, before it was ordered to cease all operations on December 1, 2019.

Unsafe Driving Violations

  • 392.2-SLLS2State/Local Laws – Speeding 6-10 miles per hour over the speed limit: 1 Violation 
  • 392.2LC Improper lane change: 1 Violation 
  • 392.82(a)1 Using a hand-held mobile telephone while operating a CMV: 1 Violation 

Crashes

  • March 12, 2019: Fatal Crash in Connecticut (Vehicle Plate Number 59774PC) 
  • January 12, 2019: Non-injury crash in Connecticut (Vehicle Plate Number 59774PC) 

Hours-of-Service Compliance Violations 

  • 395.8 Record of Duty Status: 2 Violations 
  • 395.8(e) False report of drivers record of duty status: 1 Violation 

Vehicle Maintenance Violations

  • 393.25(f) Stop lamp violations: 1 Violation 
  • 393.45B2UVBrake Hose or Tubing Chafing and/or Kinking Under Vehicle: 1 Violation 
  • 393.47(e) Clamp or Roto type brake out-of-adjustment: 1 Violation 
  • 393.53(b) CMV manufactured after 10/19/94 has an automatic airbrake adjustment system that fails to compensate for wear: 1 Violation 
  • 393.9TInoperable tail lamp: 1 Violation
  • 393.9TSInoperative turn signal:  1 Violation
  • 396.3(a)(1)Inspection, repair and maintenance of parts and accessories: 1 Violation 
  • 396.3(a)1BOSBRAKES OUT OF SERVICE: The number of defective brakes is equal to or greater than 20 percent of the service brakes on the vehicle or combination: 1 Violation 

Controlled Substances and Alcohol Violations

  • 392.5A2-POSDriver having possession of alcohol while on duty, or operating, or in physical control of a CMV: 1 Violation 
  • 392.5A2-UI Operating a CMV while under the influence of an intoxicating beverage regardless of its alcohol content: 1 Violation 

According to the news release and information published in the press release, Diaby was involved in the following events in 2019 and earlier. 

Spring 2018: Diaby was “previously convicted in the Spring of 2018 of having one or more opened alcoholic beverage containers in his truck cab.” The exact date, state, and specific charges he was convcited of were not clear. 

December 1, 2019: Diaby’s company 4 U Logistics (USDOT Number: 2995923) received an Unsatisfactory Safety Rating and was placed Out of Service. The Company Snapshot on the FMCSA website revealed the company was registered to a residential address in Las Vegas. A 917 (New York City) area code was listed as the phone number. The FMCSA is clear. A carrier under an OUT-OF-SERVICE (OOS) order is not authorized to operate

For reasons unknown, Diaby chose to continue operating despite the OOS order. 

December 6, 2019: Diaby was pulled over in Ohio with his 4 U Logistics tractor-trailer for a roadside safety inspection. There, Ohio State Highway Patrol Officers cited Diaby for violating a December 1, 2019 order to cease all operations. 

December 12, 2019: Diaby was driving a 4 U Logistics tractor-trailer from Missouri to Colorado. He was observed driving erratically and was pulled over by Kansas Highway Patrol Officers. At that point, he failed a field sobriety test and recorded a “significantly elevated” blood alcohol level. A cooler with opened alcoholic beverage containers was found next to the driver’s seat. 

Imminent Hazard #2: Corey Robert Withrow of Ohio

Corey Withrow – Courtesy Palladium-Item

Thursday, July 23, 2020: Six months after the first Imminent Hazard press release of 2020, the FMCSA issued their second, concerning Corey Robert Withrow, 31, of Camden, Ohio. The title of the release was “FMCSA Declares Ohio Truck Driver to be an Imminent Hazard.”

Withrow was served a federal order not to operate any commercial motor vehicle (CMV) in interstate commerce on July 17, 2020. 

Several weeks earlier, on July 9, 2020, Withrow was driving a commercial truck operated by Burnets, Inc.,  on 70, “at speeds exceeding the posted limit” when he failed to slow and collided into stopped traffic in a construction work zone. Tragically, four minor children, ages 15, 13, 8, and 6, were killed. Their 34-year-old father, the only survivor of the crash, was severely burned and placed in a medically induced coma. 

The FMCSA press release stated that Withrow told Indiana State Police he had been looking at his mobile phone. He was tested for controlled substances, and tested positive for amphetamines, methylenedioxy-methamphetamine and cannabis. Withrow was charged with nine felonies, including four counts of Reckless Homicide, four counts of Causing Death When Operating a Motor Vehicle While Intoxicated, and one count of Causing Catastrophic Injury When Operating a Motor Vehicle While Intoxicated. 

The Palladium-Item reported that prior to the 2020 accident, Withrow had a history of drug-related criminal convictions, charges, and fines: 

  • On Sept. 21, 2016, Withrow was sentenced to three years of probation after pleading guilty to felony counts of possession of heroin, burglary and breaking and entering. 
  • On September 8, 2015, he was fined after pleading guilty to misdemeanor charges of reckless driving and possession of drug paraphernalia in Franklin, Ohio. Original charges of driving under the influence were reduced to reckless driving. 
  • A 2013 charge of possession of heroin was dismissed when Withrow completed a drug treatment program in lieu of conviction. 

Imminent Hazard #3: Quentin Campbell of New Jersey

Monday, October 26, 2020: The FMCSA issued a press release about Quentin Campbell, 11 days after serving him a federal imminent hazard out-of-service order on October 15, 2020. The press release, titled, FMCSA Declares New Jersey Truck Driver to be an Imminent Hazard, said that Campbell was involved in a fatal accident, from which he fled the scene, on September 4, 2020. 

In the September 4th crash, Campbell, 55, of Newark, NJ, was driving a tractor-trailer on Interstate 90 in New York when he made an illegal U-turn and was struck by an eastbound vehicle. One of the occupants of the vehicle died at the scene, and the other passenger died at a hospital hours later. Campbell did not stop and fled the scene. New York State Police Officers later arrested him and charged him with one count of leaving the scene of a fatal crash, and two counts of manslaughter. 

Imminent Hazard #4: Jordan A. Barson of Arizona

Monday, December 28, 2020: Three days after Christmas, the FMCSA issued a press release about Jordan A. Barson, a Arizona-based driver who made national news for a very terrible reason. 

The press release was issued five days after Barson was served a federal order not to operate any commercial motor vehicle in interstate commerce, on December 23, 2020. On December 10, 2020, Barson was driving on US95 in Clark County, Nevada, when he struck seven bicyclists and the riders’ escort vehicle. Five bicyclists died at the scene, another bicyclist, and the driver of the escort vehicle suffered incapacitating injuries. 

The Nevada Highway Patrol tested Barson for controlled substances and he tested positive for amphetamine and methamphetamine. According to the FMCSA release, Barson was at a level almost ten times the lawful amount permitted by Nevada state law for methamphetamine. 

Barson was charged with 14 felonies, including five counts of Driving Under the Influence Resulting in Death, one count of Driving Under the Influence Resulting in Substantial Bodily Harm, five counts of Reckless Driving Resulting in Death, and one count of Reckless Driving Resulting in Substantial Bodily Harm.

You can see bodycam footage of moments after the arrest, here: 

In a court appearance on January 4th, Judge Suzan Baucum held Barson without bail. Barson’s lawyer asked the judge to set Barson’s bail at $20,000, claiming that was all Barson’s family could afford. Judge Baucum deemed a Barson a flight risk due to living in Arizona, and said that he was a danger to the community. A preliminary hearing is set for February 4, 2020

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