The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has declared Kentucky-licensed truck driver Benjamin Scott Brewer to be an imminent hazard to public safety.
As a result, Brewer has been ordered him to not operate any commercial motor vehicle in interstate commerce following his involvement in a nine-vehicle, six fatality crash that occurred June 25, 2015, along Interstate 75 in Chattanooga, Tennessee.
Brewer, a commercial driver’s license (CDL) holder, was served the federal order on July 19, 2015.
Pete Kotowski, the NTSB investigator in charge, told WRCB-TV Brewer was in his first week of work for the London, Kentucky employer and was involved in another accident in Wildwood, Florida, the day before he crashed in Tennessee.
Because of the severity of the crash, the NTSB deployed an investigative team of 11; typically five are sent, the TV station reported. An ongoing post-crash investigation by FMCSA investigators revealed that Brewer had falsified his records-of-duty status in the days leading up to the crash, specifically reporting that he had been off-duty from June 15 until 7:00 a.m. on June 25. The vehicle tracking system used by his employer, along with other records, shows that Brewer had been on-duty and driving on June 22, 23, and 24.
Brewer’s application for employment, dated June 16, 2015, and which required him to list all accidents and traffic convictions occurring in the previous three years, omitted a June 2013 crash and a January 2015 citation for speeding 16-20 miles-per-hour above the limit.
In May 2015, Brewer tested positive for controlled substances following a court-order controlled substances test.
The FMCSA will continue to assist the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), which is leading the investigation into the June 25, 2015, crash.
According to the Chattanooga Free Times Press, the company that Brewer worked for, Cool Runnings Express, has had safety problems in the past. Inspectors have shut down the company’s trucks because of safety issues with brakes three times since 2013.
The newspaper added that Police in Wisconsin suspected Brewer may have been selling drugs when they arrested him on one count of possession of a prescription drug in 2013. Brewer was arrested in that state after he tried to fill a Florida prescription for a 28-day supply of oxycodone, according to a Janesville police incident report. The pharmacist reportedly thought the request was suspicious and called police.