A trucking carrier out of Florida must immediately stop all operations following a 2021 crash that killed two people and injured nine others, federal authorities say.
Professional Marine Hauler’s LLC, based in West Palm Beach, has been deemed an “imminent hazard” to the public by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, with the company’s leaders ordered to cease all operations–both interstate and intrastate–as of January 14th.
According to FMCSA, Professional Marine Hauler’s was involved in a severe crash on November 9th of last year in which, according to the agency’s prompt investigation, what transpired was an “egregious levels of non-compliance and a complete failure of the carrier and its owners to implement any aspect of a safety management plan.” A complete trailer brake system failure was the main cause of the deadline crash, FMCSA noted.
The investigation found an overall disregard for safety regulations following ongoing non-compliant behavior–patterns that were found among various other motor carriers operated by Professional Marine Hauler’s LLC’s leaders, Ariel Martinez and Claudia Angeligue Abreu. Some of these issues include failed new entrant safety audits and roadside inspection violations that were ignored, according to FMCSA.
The hazard out-of-service order for the carrier, as well as for its leaders, is effective immediately due to the company’s “complete and utter disregard for ensuring compliance with federal safety regulations [which] substantially increases the likelihood of serious injury or death for [its] drivers and the motoring public if [its] operations are not discontinued immediately,” explained FMCSA in its notice.
The lack of compliance and safety standards within the company have allowed for many of its vehicles that were previously placed out-of-service to continue operating within interstate commerce, the agency added. FMCSA’s order states that Abreu and Martinez have both demonstrated an overall disregard for driver qualifications, alcohol testing, controlled substance testing, hours-of-service regulations, commercial motor vehicle oversize and overweight limits, and, of course, vehicle maintenance.
These manners of ignoring important safety protocols are clearly life-threatening, and are much more common than many drivers think. It’s of the utmost importance that trucking companies bring onboard experienced and exceptionally safe truck drivers for the sake of everyone with whom they may share the road, noted Levinson and Stefani’s Ken Levinson.
“The way I see it, when a trucking company hires a driver, they have to hire commercial drivers with enough experience to complete a safe and thorough pre-trip inspection,” he explained. “It’s about making sure that drivers are reminded and held accountable in regards to accomplishing all the safety goals a company should have.”
Unfortunately, Levinson noted that his firm has indeed seen similar cases due to safety negligence.
“We see incidents here in Illinois regarding improper maintenance, where the consequences can be devastating,” he said. “We had a case with a commercial vehicle that wasn’t properly maintained–a wheel was carelessly installed and it dislodged on the highway, colliding with our client. It killed him–he left four children, one on the way. His daughter was never able to meet her father because of a vehicle that wasn’t properly maintained.”
Thoroughly inspecting a vehicle before taking it out onto American roadways is a no-brainer and an important requirement for all drivers–it cannot be ignored or done absentmindedly, Levinson added.
“One key task for drivers is a pre-trip inspection, and the kind of accident caused by Professional Marine Hauler’s should never happen,” he said. “It’s, of course, the responsibility of the owners of these trucks to make sure they’re properly maintained. It goes back to a whole safety culture that a company needs to keep intact, and it’s about pre-trip inspections and making sure all your equipment is properly maintained and safe to use. It’s inexcusable to let one driver out with unsafe equipment, especially if they hurt themselves or a member of the public.”