People in Ohio should be able to trust that anyone granted a commercial driving license is committed to safe operation. They should also be able to trust that licensing agencies and other authorities appropriately monitor commercial drivers’ records and take disciplinary action if and when needed. A recent fatal crash in New Hampshire unfortunately shows that this is not always the case.
According to a report from USA Today, it has come to light that the driver has had multiple criminal and vehicular violations in the seven years since he first obtained a driver’s license at the age of 16 in 2012. His first drunk driving conviction came just a year later in Massachusetts, for which his license was suspended. The following year, he was found driving with his suspended license in Ohio. In addition to being charged with that violation, he was charged with possessing drug paraphernalia, providing false information to law enforcement and speeding.
While the state of Ohio should have provided information about the 2014 charges to Massachusetts, it is not clear if they did or did not. Over the years, the driver received other violations and criminal charges in Texas, Connecticut and Iowa. The Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles has now stated that the man’s license should have been revoked prior to the deadly New Hampshire crash but indicates the state was unaware of all of the out-of-state violations.
For surviving family members and the other bikers who were injured in the recent crash, it is unclear what their options for compensation are as the driver has now been put in the custody of immigration officials.