Truck Driver Convicted of Falsifying Log

Posted by PKSD Law Firm on May 15, 2009 in Car Accidents

A federal jury Wednesday convicted an Indiana truck driver of falsifying his log after he was found innocent of criminal charges in a fatal bus crash that killed five people near Osseo, Wisconsin.

Michael Kozlowski, 26, of Schererville, Ind., was found guilty of 20 counts of making false entries in his trucking log. Each conviction carries up to five years in federal prison.

According to prosecutors Kozlowski was driving the semi truck when his log claimed he was sleeping.

A National Transportation Safety Board investigation determined that Kozlowski fell asleep behind the wheel and failed to maintain lane position by drifting onto the shoulder. When he swerved back onto the road, the truck overturned, resulting in the bus hitting the truck.

On board the bus were 44 members of the Chippewa Falls High School marching band as well as teachers and chaperones. The band was returning home from a competition in Whitewater. 

Bus driver Paul Rasmus, band director Doug Greenhalgh, his wife Therese, their granddaughter Morgan and student teacher Branden Atherton were all lost in the crash.

State Prosecutors charged Kozlowski with five counts of negligent homicide, claiming he was excessively fatigued because he drove on little sleep and should not have been behind the wheel.

Driver fatigue, drowsiness and driver distraction are conditions that result in reckless behavior such as failure to maintain lane position and leaving the roadway. Although the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration instituted new regulations to combat truckers problems with fatigue, the U.S. Transportation Safety Board still faults driver fatigue as a probable factor in 20-40% of truck crashes.

PKSD is a Wisconsin personal injury law firm handling semi truck accident cases through out the state.  Our Wisconsin injury attorneys have successfully represented injured people in almost every county. We know Wisconsin.

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