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Pickaway Dectectives Investigate Semi Driver After Fatal Crash
PICKAWAY COUNTY (Jen French) -- After a South Bloomfield woman was killed in a crash, Pickaway County Sheriffs Detectives are investigating if a truck driver was asleep behind the wheel.
According to deputies, 42-year-old Amy Schneider died on the scene after a semi rear ended her car and another vehicle at a stoplight on US 23 south of Circleville around 1:20 a.m. Wednesday.
ABC 6/FOX 28 discovered that the US Department of Transportation gave poor safety ratings to the truck driving company Fleet Quest LLC, which is based in Grand Rapids, MI.
According to online records, the company was rated poorly for unsafe driving practices (99.5%), hours of service compliance (99.3%), and driver fitness (96.8%). All three ratings must be below 65% to be considered in compliance.
Violations includes following too close, improper lane changes, speeding, driver fatigue and driving too many hours at once. In 2013 alone, inspectors found at least 6 times, Fleet Quest LLC employees drove beyond the federal recommendations in Oregon, Arizona, Kentucky, Missouri and Michigan.
Pickaway County Detectives are investigating if 41-year-old Tracy Ferrell of Michigan was awake at the time of the crash. Deputies said he tried to hide his driving log after the wreck. He was charged with tampering with evidence and given a $15,000 bond Thursday morning. Pending a toxicology test, more charges may follow.
ABC 6/FOX 28 called Fleet Quest LLC. A company representative would not comment if Ferrell will remain employed.
Sheriffs Deputies told ABC 6/FOX 28 that a company attorney was present during Ferrells hearing Thursday morning. Ferrell bonded out.
Ohio Trucker Association President Larry Davis said an accurate log is required by federal law.
Davis said drivers can only be on the road up to 10 hours a day and 60 hours a week. Drivers are also required to take two consecutive rests between 1:00 AM and 5:00 a.m.
The last recorded DOT audit Fleet Quest LLC received was in December 2010. Spokespeople from the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association and the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio both told ABC 6/FOX 28 that another audit may be requested after this fatal crash.