Durbin: Investigation Into Trucking Company Oversight Will Move Forward

Senator requested DOT IG investigation into FMCSA’s handling of Illinois-based motor carrier following fatal I-88 crash in January 2014

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] – U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) today applauded the announcement by the Department of Transportation’s Inspector General that it will begin an audit of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA)’s investigative practices.  Durbin called for an investigation in April 2014 after a Chicago Tribune report found a troubling example of FMCSA ordering, but never actually launching, an investigation into an Illinois motor carrier – DND International – with a long history of violating safety rules.

“The crash last year took the life of a tollway worker who was stopped on the side of the road assisting a driver and his broken down truck,” said Durbin.  “We owe it to his family and the State Police Trooper who was injured in the accident to fully review why this high-risk trucking company was allowed to remain on the road.  More importantly, I hope this Inspector General investigation will give FMCSA guidance on how to identify warning signs earlier in order to avoid a tragedy like this in the future.”

Following a January 2014 crash that killed an Illinois Tollway worker and seriously injured an Illinois State Police trooper, Durbin called on the FMCSA to “immediately and fully” investigate the deadly tollway crash on I-88 in Aurora, Illinois. According to news reports and DuPage prosecutors, the driver in the crash had been on the road for more than 30 hours with little to no sleep, in violation of federal law.  On April 2, 2014, the FMCSA ordered DND International to immediately shut down after investigators found the carrier had committed widespread, serious violations of federal regulations that protect the safety of the motoring public. 

Shortly afterward, on April 9, 2014 Durbin asked the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Inspector General to audit the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s investigative practices.  In June 2014, Durbin included a provision in a bill to fund the Department of Transportation through Fiscal Year 2015 that directed the Department of Transportation’s Inspector General to audit the FMCSA’s investigative practices. The provision also directed the Inspector General to recommend ways to ensure that the agency does not miss opportunities to take dangerous drivers or motor carriers off the road before accidents happen.