Saying they represented imminent hazards to public safety, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has ordered two affiliated Waterboro, S.C.-based trucking operations and the owner-driver of one of the companies to stop operating in interstate commerce.
The agency served CER Trucking (USDOT No. 196777) a federal shutdown order Dec. 17 and Edward Risher Trucking (USDOT No. 685781) a federal shutdown order Dec. 20. These followed an FMCSA order on Dec. 10 shutting down commercial driver Clarence Edward Risher Jr. – owner of Edward Risher Trucking and son of the owner of CER Trucking. CER Trucking operated two trucks; Edward Risher Trucking was a one-truck operation.
The actions followed a fatal Nov. 27 crash in Henrico County, VA, involving the younger Risher, who at the time was operating on behalf of CER Trucking. Risher’s commercial driver’s license had been suspended since 2010 and was later revoked by the South Carolina Dept. of Motor Vehicles for numerous violations of state and federal safety regulations. Virginia State Police investigating the crash charged Risher with driving without a driver’s license, reckless driving, operating a commercial motor vehicle while disqualified, possession of alcohol and other violations.
An FMCSA investigation of CER Trucking following the crash revealed that the company had failed to ensure that drivers were qualified, the agency said. In addition to Risher, one CER Trucking driver had been convicted of marijuana possession while on duty and a third was not medically qualified to operate a commercial vehicle.
CER Trucking also failed to monitor and ensure compliance with hours-of-service requirements and regulations concerning use of controlled substances and alcohol, FMCSA said. For example, CER Trucking could not produce any drivers’ records of duty status or supporting documentation during the investigation. And the company failed to routinely inspect, maintain and repair its vehicles to ensure they were safe to operate, investigators concluded.
“FMCSA is working shoulder-to-shoulder with our state and local law partners to vigorously enforce commercial vehicle safety regulations,” said FMCSA Administrator Anne Ferro. “It is unacceptable for a truck or bus company, or any of its drivers, to disregard the law and put the safety of every highway traveler at risk.”