Crash probe reveals 20 violations
WESTMINSTER -- Commercial Vehicle Enforcement Inspectors with the Vermont Department of Motor Vehicles discovered multiple violations after being called to inspect a carnival vendor's commercial motor vehicle, which crashed on I-91 in Westminster on Sept. 3.
The company truck and trailer, owned by Jubilee Enterprises of Fort Walton Beach, Fla., had left the Champlain Valley Exposition in Essex and was headed to Connecticut when it collided with a directional signal construction trailer and a state of Vermont fleet vehicle.
While conducting a post-crash inspection of the truck and trailer, DMV Inspectors discovered the operator, Karl A. Blanton, 31, of Lenoir, N.C., did not have a commercial driver's license and has been suspended in North Carolina for the past 10 years.
Blanton was also found to be possessing a small amount of marijuana for personal use. DMV investigators also cited him for failing to maintain a log book and not being in possession of a medical certificate.
In addition, Jubilee Enterprises was found to have multiple equipment and hazardous material violations and was cited for permitting an unqualified driver to operate a commercial motor vehicle.
In total, inspectors noted 20 driver, vehicle and company violations.
Blanton was issued two traffic tickets totaling $871 and the company received two traffic tickets for $2,488.
The driver, truck and trailer were placed out of service at the scene. Vermont State Police charged Blanton with gross negligent operations as well.
The accident occurred just before 2 p.m., Tuesday, when the Vermont State Police responded to Interstate 91, mile marker 24, for the report of an accident between a box truck and a car.
According to a press release from the State Police, Blanton's truck hit a Ford Fusion being driven north by Patricia Ethier, 44, of East Calais. Ethier and her passenger, Aaron Lewis, 38, were injured and have been transported to Brattleboro Memorial Hospital.
Ethier, an employee of the Vermont Department of Labor, and Lewis, an employee of the New York Department of Labor, were both wearing their seatbelts, according to the press release. Her vehicle, which is owned by the state, was totaled in the crash.
The box truck received damage to the front driver's side fender. Blanton was not injured.
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