Driving To Deliver Your Business

Wiping clean the safety records of trucking companies

Kelly Linhart, a professional truck driver, stopped on the side of the road to do a routine truck inspection in September 2008. Moments later, the father of four lay dead on the asphalt, struck and killed by another trucker, Daniel Clarey, who veered out of his lane, according to the police report.

“Daniel Clarey fell asleep by his own admission, ran off the road, and ran over Kelly Linhart dragging him to a horrible death,” said attorney Michael Leizerman, who represented the Linhart family.

In a deposition, Clarey admitted to being under the influence of methamphetamine at the time of the crash and to a previous criminal record for methamphetamine and marijuana.

After the crash Clarey, pleaded guilty to criminally negligent homicide and driving under the influence of intoxicants. He was sentenced to 40 months, according to court documents.

Read MoreDeadly crash days after Senate panel proposes easing rest rules1

How was a driver with a drug history behind the wheel? Leizerman said Clarey’s employer, Forrest Rangeloff, was operating what is known as a “chameleon carrier,” a trucking company that re-registers with the U.S. Department of Transportation to avoid liability or problems with their safety ratings.

“I see too often in this case and other cases that I handle where the owner of the company simply closes down, refuses to pay the fines, and starts another company,” Leizerman said.

In a deposition, Rangeloff said he opened a new trucking company because he could not get a satisfactory rating, which is something the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration gives to companies to show they are in compliance with regulations.


  1. ^ Deadly crash days after Senate panel proposes easing rest rules (www.cnbc.com)

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