The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration declared a Tennessee-licensed driver to be an imminent hazard to public safety after reckless driving behavior, related to alcohol consumption, led to two deaths.
Randall J. Weddle was driving a truck for R&E Logistics on Route 17 in Knox County, Maine, when his rig crossed the centerline, tipped over and began scattering its load of lumber onto the highway. At the time of the crash, Weddle’s truck was traveling around 80 mph in a posted 55-mph zone.
A pickup truck, SUV and minivan were struck by the load of lumber, killing the driver of the pickup truck and the minivan after both vehicles were crushed. Two additional crash victims were airlifted to the hospital.
A field sobriety test conducted on Weddle by Maine State Police detected the presence of alcohol. The police also found a bottle of whiskey in his truck. Investigators also discovered that at the time of the crash, Weddle’s CDL had been revoked by the state of Virginia for a driving while intoxicated conviction.
Investigators further discovered multiple federal hours-of-service violations. Weddle was also found to have taken a family member as an unauthorized passenger on the same trip as the accident, dropping the passenger off shortly before the crash.
“[His] blatant disregard of [federal safety regulations] and continued disregard for the safety of the motoring public demonstrated by these actions substantially increases the likelihood of serious injury or death to you and/or the motoring public,” stated the FMCSA in its out-of-service order.
Weddle may also be subject to civil penalty enforcement proceeding brought by FMCSA for his violation of the agency’s safety rules.