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Investigation underway regarding ISP trooper fatality

2 years, 5 months ago by Bob Gough

A driver for Mt. Sterling-based Dot Transportation is off the road following an investigation by the company and by the feds

A truck driver who admitted to losing consciousness before hitting and killing an Illinois state trooper has been ordered by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration to stop driving immediately because he failed to disclose a disqualifying medical condition during his physical.

According to a trucking industry Website, truckinginfo.com, The FMCSA declared Georgia-licensed truck driver Johnny Felton Jr. an imminent hazard and ordered him to immediately cease all commercial vehicle driver operations due to his failure to exercise an appropriate duty of care to the motoring public.

Felton, a driver for Dot Transportation Inc., a trucking company based in Mt. Sterling, Ill., was ordered to cease operating following a crash on northbound I-55 on Nov. 26 that resulted in the death of Illinois State Trooper Kyle Deatherage near Litchfield, Ill. Deatherage was a motorcycle officer who had pulled over another vehicle and was on the side of the road when struck.

FMCSA immediately placed Felton out of service after agency investigators found serious safety concerns surrounding his medical condition and qualifications under his commercial drivers license issued by Georgia. Investigators discovered that Felton failed to disclose to a medical examiner his disqualifying medical conditions, including his medications prescribed in treating those conditions.

Dot Transportation released a statement today:

“The Dot Transportation, Inc. driver was not injured and is cooperating fully with authorities.  The driver is from Dot Transportation in Vidalia, GA.  An independent DTI investigation is also underway.  The Dot Foods and DTI family express their deepest sympathies to the family of the Illinois patrolman.”

“It is DTI’s policy to remove a driver from the road immediately following a fatal accident, pending a full investigation.  It is also DTI’s policy that no driver will drive for DTI unless he or she is in full compliance with the Federal Motor Safety Act and has a valid medical card issued by a Department of Transportation certified physician.  The driver involved in this accident has a valid medical card.” 

Although the copy of the out of service order released to the public has the details of the medical condition blacked out, it says the Illinois State Police found prescription medication for the condition bearing his name in his vehicle after the crash. It also says Felton's medical condition disqualified him from operating a commercial vehicle.

"This case sends a clear message that we will use every tool at our disposal to identify and remove from our roads unsafe operators," said FMCSA Administrator Anne S. Ferro. "Our agency is committed to raising the bar for commercial vehicle and driver safety."

www.truckinginfo.com


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