published Sunday, June 26th, 2011

Truck company in train wreck had citations

SPARKS, Nev. — A Nevada trucking company under scrutiny for a fiery crash with an Amtrak train that left at least six dead has been cited repeatedly by state authorities for crashes, unsafe driving and operating a truck with tires so bald the vehicle had to be taken off the road.

A driver working for John Davis Trucking Co. of Battle Mountain smashed through crossing gates and into two double-decker cars of an Amtrak train Friday, killing the driver and five people on the train.

Federal records reviews by The Associated Press on Sunday show the Nevada Department of Public Safety cited the company for two crashes in the last two years, including one in February 2010 that injured a person in Washoe County.

In a January inspection, authorities found tires on one company tractor-trailer so bald they deemed the rig an imminent hazard to public safety.

Meanwhile, Nevada Highway Patrol Trooper Chuck Allen said Sunday that officials for the Churchill County Coroner Office continued to sift through the rubble of two rail cars gutted by the fire that burned extremely hot. He said they have asked at least one forensic anthropologist to assist them late Sunday or Monday.

“I think it was so hot that they want to make sure they are not missing anything,” Allen told AP. “They want to figure out if there are any more bodies and if so, how many. They want to rule out the possibility that yes there are more or that no, there are not.”

Investigators also continued on Sunday to look over the scene for any clues as to why the truck driver plowed through the railroad crossing on Friday. It’s expected to take up to a year to pinpoint the cause of the crash.

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The Associated Press

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