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Ohio-Based Truck Driver Charged with Manslaughter and Driving Under the Influence After Fatal Crash

Posted in Truck Accidents on Thursday, April 29, 2021.

A truck driver caused a deadly accident on his route in Virginia that is now sparking outrage over impaired truck driving. While statistics show that only 3.6% of truckers are impaired, others point out that urine tests only reveal drugs taken recently. Anyone can pass a urine test with relative ease if they cease taking drugs only a few days prior. Hair follicle testing can detect drugs up to 90 days earlier, making it far more accurate at finding habitual drug and alcohol users. So why isn’t the Department of Transportation using a more precise method?

The dedicated attorneys at Soloff & Zervanos, PC, have extensive experience in big-rig accidents. Semi-truck accidents often have catastrophic consequences, leaving survivors with traumatic brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, internal damage, broken bones, and severe lacerations. To operate a massive 80,000 pounds of steel and cargo while impaired is unforgivable. If you or someone you love has been injured due to the careless and selfish acts of an impaired driver, call our Philadelphia, Pennsylvania truck accident attorneys at Soloff & Zervanos, PC.

Impaired Ohio-Based Truck Driver Causes Head-On Collision

Travis Lee Tolliver was driving his big-rig in Virginia when his impairment caused him to travel nearly 2 miles in the wrong direction on Route 23. An unsuspecting vehicle carrying one passenger was struck head-on. The driver of the car was rushed to the hospital with severe injuries. The passenger in the car was pronounced dead at the scene.

Tolliver was arrested and brought to the hospital, where he refused a blood sample for testing. The Commonwealth of Virginia has charged him with:

  • Driving while intoxicated
  • Driving while under the influence of alcohol or a narcotic
  • Unlawfully refusing to have a sample of blood taken for testing
  • Manslaughter under aggravated circumstances

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration conducted an investigation into Tolliver after the crash. They found the commercial truck driver had violated several provisions of the federal imminent hazard order. The violations include:

  • Knowing or willfully failing to maintain records-of-duty-status
  • Exceeded allowable on-duty driving hours

Each violation could result in criminal penalties as well as civil penalties of up to $1,895. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has since shut Tolliver down.

The Department of Transportation Has Had Congressional Approval for Hair Follicle Testing for Six Years
Despite the passing of the Fast Act 2015, the DOT has failed to implement the relatively easy change. Urine tests are the staple for drug testing, but many drugs leave the system too quickly to catch habitual users.

  • Cocaine only lasts up to 3 days
  • Meth may stay a week
  • Adderall leaves the system after 72 hours
  • Alcohol isn’t typically included in standard drug testing. It only lasts 48 hours in the system

On the other hand, hair follicle testing can detect drugs and alcohol for up to 90 days. Why isn’t the DOT implementing better testing? A survey conducted by the Journal of Transportation Management showed nearly 275,00 truck drivers would fail a hair test. Could the DOT be looking the other way to keep the industry going at the expense of other motorists?

When You Have Been Hurt in an Accident, Call Soloff & Zervanos, PC.

Impaired driving is inexcusable. Impaired driving while operating a massive steel truck is all the more selfish and negligent. If you or someone you know has been injured in a commercial truck accident, you need dedicated attorneys to secure the compensation you deserve. When you need a truck accident attorney in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, call Soloff & Zervanos, PC. Contact us for a free consultation by clicking here or calling us at 215-929-7216.