A Philadelphia truck driver who police say caused a fatal multi-vehicle car crash back in 2009, was sentenced to 18 months in prison.
Valerijs Belovs, 58, is accused of making false statements in connection with falsified commercial truck driver log books. Belovs pleaded guilty to the charges back in October 2011. In addition to the prison term, Belovs was ordered by the U.S. District Court Judge to pay a fine of $1000 and a special assessment of $1500. He is also prohibited form operating a commercial vehicle without express permission from the court.
Investigators say Belovs falsified his federally-required driver daily logbooks 15 times between December 20, 2008 and January 23, 2009. Belovs allegedly did this to hide the fact he was driving over the allowable number of driving hours without getting rest.
On January 22, 2009, police say Belovs stated he was in a sleeper berth in Wytheville, Virginia when he was actually driving to Pennsylvania. On January 23, 2009 around 9:25 a.m., Belovs caused a multi-vehicle crash on the Schuylkill Expressway (I-76) eastbound near the Conshohocken curve during rush hour traffic, according to investigators. Police say Belovs struck another vehicle, killing the driver and seriously injuring the passenger.
The U.S. Department of Justice released the following statement regarding the importance of truck driver log books:
Commercial truck drivers must certify the truthfulness and accuracy of the logbooks, which are inspected by the United States Department of Transportation. Inspection of logbooks is allegedly conducted to ensure that, among other things, truck drivers have not exceeded the 11 hour maximum allowable daily driving hours without having the required 10 consecutive hours of rest or off-duty time. This is to ensure that truck drivers operate their multi-ton trucks in a safe, unimpaired manner to protect the public from commercial trucking-related accidents on the nation’s highways.
The case was investigated by the United States Department of Transportation Office of Inspector General and was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Robert Reed.