Truck owner knew truck in deadly crash was faulty, prosecutors charge

July 5, 2012

A commercial truck owner and a truck driver have both been charged with vehicular manslaughter for allegedly operating a vehicle with bad brakes and worn tires that caused the death of another truck driver in a Marysville, CA, crash last year.

According to the Yuba County District Attorney’s Office trucker Gary Mathis, 43, was killed June 28, 2011, on Highway 20 in Marysville when his truck owned by Recology Inc. collided with a semi-truck hauling two empty trailers traveling in the opposite direction.

District Attorney Pat McGrath said investigators determined problems with the brakes and tires of a semi-truck — owned, at least in part, by Jasbir Singh Sangha of JS Trucking in Yuba City, CA — caused the trailers to fishtail, which contributed to “a further loss of control” of the vehicle.

McGrath told the Appeal-Democrat that Sangha knew the tractor-trailer was deficient and encouraged “its continued operation despite the danger it could pose to other motorists. The deficiencies would be readily apparent during any regular maintenance or pre-trip inspection and easily correctable,” McGrath said.

Sangha, 31, and the truck driver, Ernest Allan Coublucq, 74, were charged with single misdemeanor counts of vehicular manslaughter and providing false documents to investigators, a felony.

Sangha denied owning the truck, prosecutors said, but investigators do not believe him. McGrath said Sangha “attempted to shield himself from responsibility” by doctoring phony lease and liability waivers after the collision. The suspected bogus document was dated before the collision and supposedly signed by the driver, McGrath said.

“Further investigation determined the document was fraudulent,” McGrath said.

If convicted, both the trucking company owner and driver face up to four years each behind bars.

About the Author

Deborah Whistler

Voice your opinion!

To join the conversation, and become an exclusive member of FleetOwner, create an account today!

Sponsored Recommendations

Leveraging telematics to get the most from insurance

Fleet owners are quickly adopting telematics as part of their risk mitigation strategy. Here’s why.

Reliable EV Charging Solution for Last-Mile Delivery Fleets

Selecting the right EV charging infrastructure and the right partner to best solve your needs are critical. Learn which solution PepsiCo is choosing to power their fleet and help...

Overcoming Common Roadblocks Associated with Fleet Electrification at Scale

Fleets in the United States, are increasingly transitioning from internal combustion engine vehicles to electric vehicles. While this shift presents challenges, there are strategies...

Report: The 2024 State of Heavy-Duty Repair

From capitalizing on the latest revenue trends to implementing strategic financial planning—this report serves as a roadmap for navigating the challenges and opportunities of ...