Questions mount after an incident left five people dead in northern Colorado. Correct me if I’m wrong, but an intrastate carrier should not be operating outside of the state it is registered in. And it definitely should not be using drivers out of compliance with multiple regulations.
Driver did nothing to avoid the crash
Jose Mauricios Coreas, doing business as Caminante Trucking, might be in for a world of hurt. One of its drivers, unnamed at the time of publishing, was involved in an incident where he drove his truck at 75 miles per hour into a slow-moving car caught in a traffic backup. The wreck took the lives of all five passengers in the car.
The five victims were traveling through Colorado on their way home to Wyoming. Aaron Godines and Hailie Everts were killed, along with their baby daughter. Aaron’s parents Christina and Emiliano were also in the car and were killed as well.
The driver is not named because Colorado State Police (CSP) have not sent the file to the District Attorney. The incident report written by CSP troopers that the driver may have been “distracted” and was driving “carelessly.” According to the CSP, he made no effort to avoid the cars in front of him, either by braking or steering away from them.
Was someone not following FMCSA hiring standards?
The more I looked into this case, the more it went off the rails. Caminante Trucking is registered with the FMCSA as an intrastate mail carrier. It lists Long Beach, California, as the location of the business. So why would an intrastate carrier have a truck running two states away? That’s over 1,000 road miles away from its home base.
Next, there is the obvious issue of a driver operating your company vehicle without a valid driver’s license. Also, add the fact that the driver did not even have a valid medical card, a possible reason for the license suspension. Does Caminante Trucking not have a compliance department in its back office to make sure that this doesn’t happen?
Back in March, the same truck was stopped in Platteville, Colorado. A different driver working for the same company also was driving without a commercial driver’s license and a valid medical certificate. SAFER shows one of Caminante Trucking’s trucks was also involved in a fatal crash in Temecula, California in April of last year. One person was killed in that wreck.
Both trucks were also sited for having extremely faulty braking systems. Trucks and trailers with less than 80% of their brakes working are deemed out of service. In both incidents, the brake systems were found to not in proper specifications. One truck did not have anti-lock brakes installed.
With the boom in trucking that occurred in the past few years, there were bound to be several shady trucking companies that sprouted. It appears that one unfortunately has appeared and needs to be pulled out like the noxious weed that it is. Maybe state and federal officials will take action sooner rather than later after more lives have been lost.