11 months, 3 weeks ago by Bob Gough
Company says it has not yet completed its internal investigation
The trucking company that employs a driver who was charged with reckless homicide in connection with a traffic crash that killed an Illinois State Trooper was cited and remains under investigation by the federal agency that regulates its operation.
Johnny B. Felton Jr., 52, of Hinesville, Ga., was driving for Dot Transportation Inc. of Mount Sterling on Nov. 26 when police said he struck Trooper Kyle Deatherage's motorcycle, killing the 32-year-old father of two.
The U.S. Department of Transportation's Federal Motor Carriers Safety Administration review completed on Jan. 25, showed that Dot Transportation Inc., known as DTI, allowed Felton to drive out-of-state on a Georgia commercial driver's license that restricted him from driving interstate.
Jim Tracy, DTI vice president and attorney who is acting as co-counsel in the wrongful death case filed against Felton and DTI, could not be reached for comment Tuesday.
Julia Bishop-Cross, a DTI spokeswoman, said the company has cooperated with investigators and has not yet completed its own investigation.
The management and employees of Dot Transportation, Inc. (DTI) continue to express their deepest sympathies to the family of the Illinois patrolman who lost his life in a tragic accident on I-55 last November.
Today we learned that the Montgomery County State’s Attorney’s Office has filed charges against DTI driver John Felton of reckless homicide and allegedly driving a commercial vehicle in Illinois when he did not hold an interstate commercial driver’s license (CDL).
DTI has fully cooperated with the authorities and assisted them in their investigation as requested. DTI has not completed its own internal investigation nor has it seen all of the information that Grand Jury reviewed prior to issuing the Indictment.
It is DTI’s policy that no driver will drive for DTI unless he or she has a valid medical card and is in full compliance with the Federal Motor Safety Act. DTI was not informed of and unaware of any reason which would indicate this driver was unable to safely operate DTI’s truck. DTI cannot release information about the driver’s medical condition because of statutory restrictions and out of respect for the employee’s privacy.
The driver in question is a 25-year veteran of the armed forces who rose to the rank of sergeant and commanded 80 troops. He was hired by DTI after an honorable discharge and had a clean driving record at the time of hire.