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DND truck company with horrible safety record causes fatal truck accident in Illinois

Written by Steve Gursten Posted February 18th, 2014

DND International was cited over 100 times for violating FMCSRs, and killed a motorist in 2012, yet somehow was still operating when a DND trucker barreled into two pedestrians killing one and seriously injuring the other

DND International fatal truck accident

During my two decades of experience as a truck accident attorney, there is
one thing I’ve learned: Despite what the safety laws and regulations say,  there are plenty of very bad and unsafe trucking companies out there on our roads, endangering our families and playing Russian Roulette with our lives. These companies just  don’t care.

I thought about this recently when I read about the terrible truck accident in Illinois.
I came across the story on NBC Chicago about the horrible truck accident in Illinois
highlighting one such company.

A tollway employee was killed and an Illinois State Police trooper was seriously injured in the semi-truck wreck. It occurred at a toll highway in a Chicago suburb.  At the time of the crash, the two men were assisting a truck driver of a disabled big-rig truck in the eastbound lanes, when they were struck by a second semi-truck.

The trucking company involved, DND International, has a downright disgraceful safety record. Records of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) indicate that DND operates over 40 trucks, employing 42 truckers.  However, the same records indicate that the company has an unsafe driving rating of 92.4 percent. What does that mean, exactly?

It means that nearly 93 percent of all trucking companies have better records than DND International.

Want to consider something really scary?  Think about how bad those trucking companies are on our roads today that actually are in the 7% of commercial motor carriers with a worse safety rating than DND.

In fact, on the FMCA website DND International is listed as exceeding the “intervention threshold” for both unsafe driving, and hours of service for its truckers – two violations I routinely find in many of the cases I litigate when I start pouring through records in legal discovery.

Worst of all,  these FMCSA records showed that DND drivers were slapped with over 100 violations of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSRs) in the last two years. These violations ranged from driving in violation of the hours of service, to infractions as serious as falsifying logbooks.

DND truckers were involved in a grand total of six truck accidents in the last two years — one of them a fatal crash in 2012. In that previous fatal crash, a DND truck struck a passenger vehicle killing its driver.

It is not shocking that a trucking company that is this bad killed an innocent motorist. What is shocking is that it somehow happened twice in two years. After reading this story, I found myself asking a familiar question that I ask on this truck legal blog: Why was this bad trucking company still even on the road?

This company violated the FMCSRs (literally) 100 times. That should have taken their 40 trucks off of the highway. But that was not enough. This company then went on and killed somebody in 2012. But even that was not enough.

Now, he were are in 2014, and this trucking company has claimed the life of another victim, and left a state trooper in the hospital fighting for his life.

When I read stories like this, I’m enraged and discouraged. I am angry that these trucking companies care so little about people’s lives. And as a truck accident lawyer and as a safety advocate that has lobbied for more inspections and oversight of dangerous motor carriers, I see the same thing over and over again in my cases. I am saddened at the tragic loss of life.

I should note that the FMCSA did not shut this company down (they have the power to shut down dangerous trucking companies by federal law) even though DND was cited 100 times with violations. And the FMCSA also did not shut it down after they killed somebody in 2012.

This story encapsulates our mission as attorneys at the Truck Accident Attorneys Roundtable.  We will continue to fight against unsafe and dangerous  trucking companies and we will do everything we can to hold them accountable and to discover and expose every single violation in the cases we are involved in.

Even when the FMCSA will not.

About Steve Gursten

Attorney Steven Gursten is president of the Motor Vehicle Trial Lawyers Association and past president of the American Association for Justice Trucking Litigation Group. He has been named a Michigan Lawyers Weekly "Leader in the Law" for his efforts to prevent truck accidents and promote national truck safety. Steve was also a Michigan Lawyers Weekly "Lawyer of the Year" for a record settlement in a truck accident case. He has received the top reported truck accident jury verdict and top reported truck accident settlement in Michigan for multiple years, according to published year-end compilations of all jury verdicts and personal injury settlements by Michigan Lawyers Weekly. He has been named a "Top 50 Super Lawyer," by SuperLawyers, is listed in Best Lawyers in America, and has been awarded an AV-rating by Martindale-Hubbell, which is the highest rating for legal ability and ethics. Steve speaks to lawyers throughout the country on truck accident litigation. He is a founding member of the Truck Accident Attorneys Roundtable, head of Michigan Auto Law, and has dedicated his legal career to making our roads safer.
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