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FMCSA places Connecticut carrier out of service amid deadly crash

June 29, 2022
Alvarez Transport has been deemed an imminent hazard to public safety for its noncompliance with federal regulations, including driver drug-and-alcohol use and lack of a systematic vehicle repair program.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has declared Orange, Connecticut-based Alvarez Transport to be an “imminent hazard” to public safety and ordered the motor carrier to immediately cease all interstate and intrastate operations.

Alvarez Transport was served the federal order on June 23 “for its continued widespread noncompliance with federal safety regulations,” including those around controlled substances and alcohol use and testing; commercial driver's license standards, requirements, and penalties; qualifications of drivers; and vehicle inspection, repair, and maintenance, according to FMCSA.

During a compliance investigation that began on May 25, FMCSA safety investigators discovered “extensive acute and/or critical violations” in almost every part of the FMCSRs that they reviewed. Cumulatively, the order stated that these violations demonstrated the “motor carrier’s lack of effective safety management controls and significantly increased the likelihood of death or serious injury if not discontinued immediately.”

Moreover, during the ongoing compliance investigation, around June 2, Alvarez Transport dispatched driver Dante C. Elliott—who had an expired CDL—to haul a commercial motor vehicle (CMV) from New Haven, Connecticut, to Williamstown, Vermont. While attempting to navigate a sharp curve on Vermont’s Route 64, Elliott left the traveled portion of the roadway, the CMV slid into a ditch, overturned, and then came to a position of uncontrolled rest on its roof. Both Elliott and his passenger were killed in the crash. Witnesses reported that the CMV's brakes were smoking before the crash, and a post-crash inspection discovered several out-of-service vehicle conditions.

Investigators also found that Alvarez Transport did not have a systematic vehicle inspections, repair, and maintenance program in place to prevent unsafe CMV operations. In addition, investigators report the carrier had a vehicle out-of-service rate of 81.8% during the 24 months preceding June 14.

Failing to comply with the provisions of the federal imminent hazard order may result in civil penalties of up to $29,893. Knowing and/or willful violations could result in criminal penalties, according to FMCSA.

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FleetOwner Staff

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Kevin Jones, Editorial Director, Commercial Vehicle Group

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