Citations issued to driver who caused I-77 mess that left 100 drivers with flat tires

Citations issued to driver who caused I-77 mess, left 100 drivers with flat tires

CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - More than 100 drivers on I-77 were left with flat tires after a truck dumped a load of scrap metal during rush hour Tuesday.

We learned today the driver was with a company called NAT Services Inc. based in Cuyahoga Heights.

The dump truck driver was Paul Podgurski Jr.

He was cited by Cleveland Police for dropping loads on the roadway and not covering the load being hauled.

Ohio State Highway Patrol inspected the truck and issued federal violations to the driver for commercial driver's license violations and load violations.

State troopers said the driver did not have his proper medical certification, showing that he is cleared to operate the vehicle.

19 News found NAT Services Inc. had three safety violations in the past two years for “failing to use a seat belt.”

That’s according to FMCSA, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Adminstration.

We also learned the company has had 31 driver inspections in the last two years.

Nineteen of the inspections led to violations. You can read more from the FMCSA here.

Those include wheel fasteners loose or missing, axle positioning parts defective or missing, and inoperative or defective brakes.

But none of them were considered critical violations.

FMCSA states on its website “unless a motor carrier has received an UNSATISFACTORY safety rating under part 385 of title 49, Code of Federal Regulations, or has otherwise been ordered to discontinue operations by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, it is authorized to operate on the Nation's roadways.”

19 News found out troopers usually cite trucks and commercial vehicles more than a thousand times each year for not properly securing cargo.

We requested Motor Carrier Enforcement Inspections from Ohio State Highway Patrol.

In 2018, state troopers found 1,672 cargo securement violations, and 1,502 of them resulted in the vehicle being placed out of service.

So far from January to June this year, OHSP found 829 cargo securement violations and 720 of them resulted in the vehicle being placed out of service.

We learned there were 60 violations for securing loads on all vehicles in Cuyahoga County from state troopers over the last five years.

We reached out to NAT Services Inc. and we haven't heard back yet.

State troopers took the driver out of service for the license violation.

Drivers who sustained damage can fill out a claim here.

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