The Nebraska State Patrol Carrier Enforcement Division has fined a Lincoln refuse company $331,920 in civil penalties for safety violations.
The investigation into Von Busch and Sons Inc. turned up 453 violations involving controlled substance and alcohol testing, vehicle maintenance and driver-qualification requirements, State Patrol spokesman Cody Thomas said.
He said the investigation started after the federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration listed the company as a carrier with "severe problems" involving maintenance and operation of commercial vehicles.
A fatality crash Feb. 15 involving a Von Busch and Sons refuse truck furthered concerns about the company’s safety practices, Thomas said.
A worker, James Baker, died after the truck he was riding on the outside of slid and crashed into a tree while making rounds in the West A neighborhood.
Thomas said Von Busch and Sons Inc. had been fined before and that minimal corrective action was taken.
Prior to the most recent, he said, the company had been the subject of seven compliance reviews between 2002 and 2016, which yielded a number of safety violations, mainly stemming from the lack of maintenance on vehicles.
After this review, State Patrol investigators asked Von Busch and Sons Inc. to submit documentation that they were making changes to improve the safety at their company.
The company submitted an action plan. But, when investigators followed up, they found that they hadn't taken sufficient actions to correct the violations, Thomas said.
He said investigators will continue to monitor the progress that Von Busch and Sons Inc. is making to improve safety operations.