Friday, June 28, 2013

What a Waste

  • A Wisconsin truck driver had been working more than 14 hours before he fell asleep at the wheel of his semitrailer, federal investigators have found, leading to a fiery crash that killed an Illinois State Police trooper on the Tri-State Tollway.

    Andrew B. Bokelman, 26, has not been charged criminally in connection with the March 28 crash that killed Trooper James Sauter, of Vernon Hills, court records show. An Illinois State Police spokeswoman said Thursday an investigation is ongoing.

    But Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration records obtained by the Chicago Sun-Times show that Bokelman and United Van Lines have been fined for breaking a federal rule prohibiting drivers on duty more than 14 hours from driving without getting 10 hours of rest.

    Bokelman, who investigators said worked for United Van Lines agent Barrett Moving and Storage, was fined $2,500 as recommended. United Van Lines must pay $5,500.
The criminal investigation continues, but seriously? A dead trooper, a family fatherless, and a mere $8,000 in fines?

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    14 Comments:

    Anonymous Vice cop said...

    Hate to say it but we work cheap.......

    Rest Trooper your watch is done.

    6/28/2013 12:06:00 AM  
    Blogger I Fart In Your General Direction said...

    Preface: I bleed blue and attended Trooper Sauters' wake.

    However, how is this any different than any of us coming to work after doing 5, 6, 7 or more hours at a side gig or court on little to no sleep and then driving from call to call dogass tired? Been there, done that. Way too many times to keep track.

    Ever come to work a wee bit hungover? Been there, done that also. As has just about any copper that likes to throw a few (or more) back from time to time.

    Sleep deprivation is a motherfucker. And there ain't a person on the face of this earth (almost) that hasn't experienced the phenomenon. Police especially know this feeling.

    That said... unless this turns out to be more than just a tragic accident, it remains just that. There was no intent behind Sauter dying that day. I'm sure Bokelman didn't fire up his tractor planning on plowing into an ISP cruiser on a traffic stop - or anyone else - that day. And assigning a dollar amount to something you can't put a price on only stokes the embers.

    If the continuing investigation reveals ANYTHING that warrants Bokelman being charged criminally, I say pursue it without mercy. Hammer his ass and make him pay dearly. But absent that, no need to demand a pound of flesh for a horrible mistake.

    Save that animosity for the assholes that take shots at us or drive that stolen getaway car the wrong way on the expressway.

    RIP Trooper Sauter.

    6/28/2013 02:03:00 AM  
    Anonymous Anonymous said...

    So the Feds found that there was reason to fine both driver and Van Lines.

    That's good enough evidence for a civil suit against both by the family.

    6/28/2013 05:07:00 AM  
    Anonymous Anonymous said...

    6/28/2013 02:03:00 AM

    The difference is: police or civilian, most aren't driving a how-many-ton semi at speeds of 55 mph or more when they're sleep deprived. It's still wrong, but it's a big difference.

    6/28/2013 06:32:00 AM  
    Anonymous Anonymous said...

    I hope the family of that State Trooper sues United Van Lines and gets paid a fortune. $8,000 in fines after causing a death is just disgusting.

    6/28/2013 08:14:00 AM  
    Anonymous Anonymous said...

    I Fart In Your General Direction...Emotions aside...your post is spot on.

    6/28/2013 09:26:00 AM  
    Anonymous Anonymous said...

    "However, how is this any different than any of us coming to work after doing 5, 6, 7 or more hours at a side gig or court on little to no sleep and then driving from call to call dogass tired? Been there, done that. Way too many times to keep track."

    The difference is we are not tired behind the wheel of a 60,000-75,000pound vehicle rolling at 55-65 mph. There is a reason they regulate the hours drivers can operate these vehicles. Just like Tpr Kyle Deathrage, they were both killed by drivers that shouldn't have been behind the wheel.

    6/28/2013 10:30:00 AM  
    Blogger Mr. SouthSide said...

    I hope the family has a good attorney, if attorney and good can be used in the same sentence.

    6/28/2013 10:39:00 AM  
    Anonymous Anonymous said...

    VERY well said 203 AM! While its a very sad incident I also believe that this is one of those so called occupational hazards. One of the city's proposals for our next contract is to limit how many hours you work your side job and setting a certain number on the amount of hours between the side job and coming to work. Tragic incidents like this and general poor work performance is what they hope to minimize. RIP trooper.

    6/28/2013 10:48:00 AM  
    Anonymous Anonymous said...

    No matter what happens. We get up and do our jobs day in and day out.
    Be safe my fellow Brothers

    6/28/2013 04:38:00 PM  
    Anonymous Anonymous said...

    "However, how is this any different than any of us coming to work after doing 5, 6, 7 or more hours at a side gig or court on little to no sleep and then driving from call to call dogass tired? Been there, done that. Way too many times to keep track."

    The difference is we are not tired behind the wheel of a 60,000-75,000pound vehicle rolling at 55-65 mph. There is a reason they regulate the hours drivers can operate these vehicles. Just like Tpr Kyle Deathrage, they were both killed by drivers that shouldn't have been behind the wheel.

    6/28/2013 10:30:00 AM

    Behind the wheel of most vehicles at any speed (with obvious exceptions) has the potential for disaster. It's only more spectacular when its a situation like this. Same with train accidents or plane crashes - it's horrible compared to the poor bastard that breaks his neck and dies after being knocked off his bike when a door gets opened on him. In the end, a death is a death. There are rules in every profession, and consequences/punishments for breaking those rules. Intent is what is lacking here, and your argument is based on emotion.

    Oh, yeah....there's also that little thing called "Deadly Force" that we're tasked with dispatching at the drop of a hat. Firing a weapon at the wrong time and possibly hitting unintended targets is just as bad as propelling a semi while tired. It is what it is.

    I prefer my partner is observant and reasonably well rested if the time comes to drop the hammer, but we all know that usually isn't the case. Conservative estimate would be half of all POs work a second job. Many have families. Many go to school. Many practically live in court. Point being that people make mistakes when they're tired. And whether that mistake is forgetting to pick up the dry cleaning or nodding off at the wheel, s*^t happens. Not trying to minimize the severity of the situation, but 203am is correct - it was determined to be a tragic accident. My deepest sympathies to the troopers family.

    6/28/2013 05:01:00 PM  
    Anonymous Anonymous said...

    "One of the city's proposals for our next contract is to limit how many hours you work your side job and setting a certain number on the amount of hours between the side job and coming to work. "

    Just another intrusion on your personal life, which is a proposal that's asinine& impossible to enforce.Having to reside in this shitty& pay an exorbitant sum in property taxes for the privilege it's only just ,that I'm compensated accordingly.

    6/29/2013 12:18:00 AM  
    Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Rest in Peace, brother Troop

    6/29/2013 07:34:00 AM  
    Anonymous Anonymous said...

    yo fart: everyday i pass the trailer parked in a yard along I-88with the scorch mark on the front. i can see the tractor parked on the southside of the maintenace building as i come down the bridge from 355 south also impounded. and every day i think about that trooper and wonder why there is not an involuntary manslaughter charge out there. sure, i am a troll and do not know the law but i know one thing, someone needs to do some time. thanks troopers, you are the only line between speeding and all out insanity on the tollways which would be the case if you guys were not out there.

    6/30/2013 10:05:00 PM  

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