May 15, 2016
TORONTO, Ont. — The Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) have charged a Quebec driver with criminal negligence causing death, after the truck he was driving lost a set of duals, killing another motorist.
The crash happened Jan. 27 at 9:19 a.m. on Hwy. 400. Driver Bruno Bergeron of St. Rouyn-Noranda, Que. is facing charges. He is scheduled to appear in Newmarket court June 14 to answer the charge.
Transport LEO Labelle of Beam, Que. has also been charged in connection with the crash. It will be represented in court July 22 to answer the charge.
I know we don’t know the entire story, but this honestly does not sound all that fair.
Things such as cracked hubs can be IMPOSSIBLE to detect during a trip inspection. These cracks can be so incredibly small and still under tension, that the only way to see them would be with an x-ray machine.
If the driver did his proper trip inspections, and the wheels still came off, how is it his fault? You can check a truck and trailer over nose to tail with a fine tooth comb at 6:00 AM, find nothing wrong. At 7:00 AM after an hour of driving, anything could be possible. These are still moving machines with parts that are subjected to a violent environment at least 13 hours a day, likely 7 days a week.
The “wheel-off” offense is called an absolute liability charge. My best understanding is that it is like a speeding ticket, there is no defense. The wheels came off, you’re guilty, case closed.
As for the driver, as long as he did his pre-trip inspection as prescribed by law, and was not in contravention of any other rules, he’ll get off with nothing more than a hefty lawyer’s bill.
What will catch him up though is HoS. If he was over his hours, or was cheating his book in any way shape or form, the case can be made that he should not have been where he was, when he was there, ergo, that victim would still be alive. The fact that had he followed the HoS, the wheels still would have come off, and someone else would be dead, is immaterial to the case at hand.
The wheel off legislation never was fair. It was only enacted to make car drivers happy.
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