The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has declared Ohio-licensed commercial driver Gregory Barnhart to be an imminent hazard following an on-duty collision that killed two people and an off-duty arrest for another crash while driving under the influence.
The incidents took place in late September and Early October in Milton Township, Ohio.
The FMCSA’s imminent hazard out-of-service order cited Barnhart’s “blatant and egregious violations of [federal safety regulations] and ongoing repeated disregard for the safety of the motoring public,” as the reason for the agency to consider him a hazard to the motoring public.
On Sept. 28, 2019, Barnhart was driving a commercial truck on State Route 534 in Milton Township when his vehicle crossed the center line into oncoming traffic and collided with a cargo van, killing the driver and a passenger.
Barnhart was cited for driving under the influence of a Schedule I drug and also tested positive for one or more Schedule II controlled substances that he did not have valid subscriptions for. According to the out-of-service order, blood testing results were positive for amphetamines, methamphetamine, marijuana, and cocaine.
The very next day Barnhart was directed by his employer to submit to a drug test, which is mandated within 32 hours of a fatal crash. He failed to meet the requirement and was terminated by his employer, Buckeye Transportation, for not submitting to the required drug test.
Twelve days later on Oct. 11, Barnhart was driving a non-commercial vehicle in Milton Township when his vehicle went off the road, into a ditch, overturned and struck a tree. A passenger in the vehicle with him was transported to a hospital.
Barnhart was arrested and charged by the Ohio State Highway Patrol for operating a vehicle under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
If Barnhart fails to comply with the federal imminent hazard out-of-service order, he may face action by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for equitable and punitive damages. Penalties of up to $1,848 may be assessed for each violation, as well as potential criminal penalties. He could also be subject to a civil penalty enforcement proceeding brought by the FMCSA for violating the agency’s safety regulations.