A truck driver who plowed his 77,000-pound rig into an Infiniti on the Schuylkill Expressway in 2009, killing a Fort Washington man, was charged by federal prosecutors yesterday with lying about breaks he was supposed to take on the road.
Authorities said that Valerijs Nikolaevich Belovs, 57, of Northeast Philadelphia, falsified his driver daily logbooks between Dec. 20, 2008, and Jan. 23, 2009 - the day of the accident - to conceal the fact he was driving more hours than legally allowed without a required rest.
The indictment suggests that Belovs should not have been driving when the accident on the Schuylkill occurred.
Commercial truck drivers must certify the truthfulness and accuracy of the logbooks, which are inspected by the U.S. Department of Transportation.
Commercial truck drivers are not to exceed the 11-hour maximum allowable daily driving hours without having at least 10 consecutive hours of rest or off-duty time.
The indictment said this is to ensure that drivers operate their rigs in a safe, unimpaired manner to protect the public from commercial trucking-related accidents on the nation's highways.
The last of the 15 counts listed in the indictment refers to an entry Belov allegedly made in his daily logbook for the day before the crash.
The entry said that between 9 p.m. and midnight, Belovs was in a sleeper berth in Wyethville, Va. Authorities said he was actually driving from 9 p.m. to 1:30 a.m. from Wyethville to Carlisle, Pa.
Belovs stopped at a rest stop near Carlisle about 1:30 a.m. and started driving again about 7 a.m. At 9:25 a.m., his rig rear-ended businessman David Schreffler's Infiniti on the Schuylkill near Conshohocken.
Schreffler died instantly of massive chest injuries.
Belovs pleaded guilty in April to vehicular homicide, reckless driving and related offenses in Montgomery County Common Pleas Court and was sentenced from three to 23 months in jail, court documents said.