Ronald Martinez worked for Aero Bulk Carrier in Grand Rapids. Action News investigator Heather Catallo is here with details. Heather.
Well, Diana, I’ve been taking a hard look at the record of the tanker driver and the safety record of the company, and the investigators have learned that this is the seventh accident that this company has had recently.
The vice president of Aero Bulk Carrier, Incorporated, in Grand Rapids says the driver who died in this morning’s fiery tanker crash was good at his job. Sixty-year-old Ronald Albert Martinez had been driving for Aero Bulk for nine years, and according to the company, he was up to date on his required physicals. Martinez was traveling from Pennsylvania to Sarnia today. When he crashed, Martinez had only been on the road for about an hour after an eleven-hour break.
The Action News investigators have learned that between 2001 and 2005, Martinez had two speeding tickets in Michigan, one in Kentucky, and another in Ohio. Martinez’s driver’s license was briefly suspended once for not paying one of the tickets, and in 2005, he received a letter from the Secretary of State warning him about the number of points on his record.
As for the company, according to data from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, Aero Bulk Carrier has had six accidents among its thirty-six drivers in the last two years. The federal data shows five of those previous crashes resulted in injuries, and one included a fatality. Aero Bulk vice president said that fatality happened when another driver ran into one of their parked cars and he said their company has a satisfactory rating with the federal government.
We know an accident like this should not be happening, period.
Steven Gursten is an attorney who handles trucking accidents, and he wants to know why such a small company has had so many accidents recently.
You don’t have six accidents in two years with that few drivers unless something is going on, so it really makes me wonder what kind of policies and procedures that company has in effect to prevent accidents.
Again, managers at the trucking company say Martinez was a great driver and a great employee. As for his current driving record, Martinez had not had any tickets in the last two years.