Police in New Jersey are holding a truck driver after an extremely wild
reckless driving event in the Garden State, in part because he had
fifty-five prior arrests in California.
The incident was also
fatal for 24-year-old Jeffrey Oakley of Elizabethtown, N.J. The truck driver
– 57-year-old James Williams – originally gave authorities
an address in Brighton, Colorado. But since he had used ten different
aliases and eight different Social Security numbers in the past, it can
be hard to keep things straight. According to prosecutors, Mr. Williams
crashed through a police barricade and drove recklessly while evading
officers for another three and a half miles, ramming Mr. Oakley’s
car and killing him in the process. After an off-duty officer fired shots
at Mr. Williams’ truck, he crashed. Officers, who noted a strong
odor of alcohol when they pulled him from the wreckage, arrested Mr. Williams
on several criminal charges, including second-degree vehicular homicide
and first-degree aggravated manslaughter.
In court, his attorney argued for a bail reduction because his injuries
made him an unlikely flight risk, but Judge Brenda Coppola Cuba refused
to reduce Mr. Williams’ bail from $2 million.
It is a good bet that Mr. Williams’ legal problems, or at least most
of them, did not involve moving or safety violations, because if they
had, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration would have taken
action long ago. For the last several years, the FMCSA has used the
Safety Management System to keep an eye on several key categories, including:
Unsafe Driving: Almost any moving violation, whether it occurred in a commercial or private
vehicle, goes on a trucker’s SMS report.
Vehicle Maintenance: Any issue, no matter how minor, goes onto the SMS report.
Crash History: Although there is a difference between being faulted in a police report
and being held legally responsible, the government usually relies on the
former source for SMS purposes.
Other categories include alcohol and controlled substance use, HOS (hours
of service) compliance, and hazardous materials compliance. If your SMS
score is too high, it will be hard to get, or keep, a trucking job. An
attorney can help ensure that your score is accurate, which saves you money.
Getting Legal Help
The aggressive lawyers at Bigger & Harman, APC, are committed to giving
individuals a voice when dealing with speeding and traffic tickets. Call
today at 661-859-1177 or email
firstname.lastname@example.org to receive the personal professional attention you deserve. En español,
llame al 661-376-0214.