It’s been a little more than a week since the horrific accident that killed five young women who were all nursing students at Georgia Southern University. There’s been much speculation on why the tragedy happen and one family of one of the victims is already suing Total Transportation of Mississippi claiming negligence on the part of the company’s driver. The suit contending the driver was “following too close” and could not stop in time.
Spf William Robenolt told us last week he was on his way to work that day and it was about 5:45 a.m. and still dark. He said drivers were braking and stopping because there had been an accident a few hours earlier on I-16 and it was still being cleaned up. Robenolt said he was able to stop and then he “heard a loud bang and saw a tractor trailer pushing a tanker truck past me.”
That was the tractor trailer from Total Transportation. We looked into the company’s record by checking with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) which is part of the Department of Transportation.
Some of the things we found:
** The company had been flagged in the past 12 months because of a serious violation, meaning trucks could be stopped for random inspections.
** In terms of unsafe driving, it was listed in the bottom percentile, meaning 90 percent of other carriers had better on road performance than total transportation.
** On driver fitness, 61 percent of motor carriers had better on-road performance than total transportation
** There were 21 driver fitness violations but that was out of more than 2 thousand inspections. and there were no serious violations.
** In terms of vehicle maintenance, it scored in the 50 percent range or about as well as about half of all other carriers.
** The company was inspected 2040 inspections in the past two years – and found 653 violations.
** In the past two years, the company had 86 accidents (with 27 injuries but no fatalities.) That includes all crashes even those where truck drivers may not have been at fault.
** The company’s 938 drivers drove over 85,000,000 miles in 2014. That is roughly 90,000 miles per driver or about 250 miles each and every day of the year.
Total Transportation has indicated it is cooperating with the Georgia Highway Patrol in its investigation of the accident and the five deaths.