Trucker jailed 1 year, firm fined US$1.3 million for carrying hazmat
THE owner of a Montana-based trucking company has been sentenced to 12 months in prison and his company, Woody's Trucking LLC, has been ordered to pay a fine of US$1
THE owner of a Montana-based trucking company has been sentenced to 12 months in prison and his company, Woody's Trucking LLC, has been ordered to pay a fine of US$1.3 million in connection with the illegal transportation of drip gas, a hazardous material that set a truck ablaze for eight days and resulted in three people being seriously injured.
Donald Wood was also ordered to serve three years of supervised release during sentencing in the US district court in Montana and his company was sentenced to four years of probation.
Mr Wood and his company were convicted by a federal jury in May for conspiracy, wire fraud, mail fraud, obstruction of justice and hazardous materials shipping paper and placarding violations, reported American Shipper.
According to the US Department of Transportation Office of Inspector General (DOT-OIG), a driver for Woody's Trucking in December 2012 transported natural gas condensate - drip gas - from a processing facility in Watford City, North Dakota, to Custom Carbon Processing Inc. (CCP), a slop-oil processing/recycling company near Wibaux, Montana.
The bill of lading that accompanied the shipment identified the product as 'slop oil and water,' a non-hazardous substance. However, while the driver was pumping the product from the truck's front tank into the CCP facility, a fire started.
The tanks on the truck subsequently burned for eight days, until the local fire department determined that they held drip gas and not slop oil and water, as indicated on the bill of lading.
DOT-OIG said that in the aftermath of the incident Mr Wood directed the driver to place a falsified bill of lading in the burned-out truck to cover up the fact that the company was hauling drip gas without placards. Furthermore, the company did not have insurance coverage for hauling drip gas, investigators said.