“It was an accident and it’s tragic.” Attorney of arrested truck driver says.

We don’t know the cause behind the fiery crash in West Denver recently that killed 4 people. Bystanders thought it was due to a mechanical failure, that the 23-year-old driver lost his brakes and then control of the truck. One thing is for sure, it was a horrific accident that will become a complicated legal case. The driver is being held on $400,000 bond and faces vehicular homicide charges, six years in prison, and a maximum fine of $500,000. Plus, his company will most likely get audited and if the proper paperwork and procedures are not in place there will most likely be other hefty fines.

Truck drivers are required by law to inspect their vehicles. But many drivers fail to do a full blown inspection. In that case, if an accident happens, it’s all the proof a prosecutor needs to prove recklessness.

All commercial motor vehicles (CMV) that weigh more than 10,000 pounds must undergo annual DOT inspections. These inspections conducted by the DOT are to ensure that all the CMV parts and accessories are in good condition, safe to use, and working properly.

Here are the 6 primary levels of an inspection:

Level 1: Full

This inspection includes:

  • Inspecting for radiological shipments
  • Inspection procedures
  • Enhancements to level 1

Level II: Walk-Around

Not much different than the Level 1 inspection, except it’s not done on items under the vehicle.

Level III: Driver-Only

There will be an in-depth examination of the driver’s license, medical card, driver’s daily log, seatbelt, Driver and Vehicle inspection Report (DVIR), and Driver incident history.

Level IV: Special Inspection

This level is a one-time exam intended to take a closer look at a particular item – in order to support or refute a study or trend.

Level V: Terminal

This is a complete check of the vehicle and includes everything from Level 1 inspection that is vehicle related. This must be conducted without the driver’s presence.

  • Brake and fuel system
  • Cargo securement and coupling devices
  • Exhaust systems, steering mechanism, and lighting devices
  • Suspensions, tires, and wheel assemblies
  • Van and open-top trailer bodies
  • Windshield wipers and emergency exits
  • Electrical cables and systems in engine and battery compartments
  • Loose or temporary seating on buses

Level VI: Radioactive Materials

NAS (North American Standard) Inspection for Transuranic Waste and HRCQ (Highway Route Controlled Quantities) of Radioactive Materials, involved checking for specific radiological shipments, including:

  • Enhancements to Level 1 Inspection
  • Inspection for radiological shipments
  • Radiological requirements
  • Enhanced out of service criteria