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Virginia Truck Driver Gets Jail Time for Falsifying Logbooks

On August 11, Matthew L. Gessner, a former driver for Carson Brown Trucking, Inc., Wytheville, VA, was sentenced in U.S. District Court in Brunswick, GA to 10 months in prison followed by 3 years probation for making false statements on his commercial driver's license daily logbooks. On September 12, 2004, a truck driven by Gessner veered off Interstate 95 in Camden County, GA, striking a parked vehicle and killing one of the occupants - a ten year-old child. Our investigation found that Gessner had fallen asleep at the wheel after driving 19 hours without rest, far exceeding the maximum driving hours permitted by federal highway safety regulations. Our investigation also disclosed that Gessner had falsified his logbook on several prior occasions to conceal his hours-of-service violations. Gessner was indicted by a Federal grand jury in March 2006 and pled guilty in May. A state vehicular homicide charge is pending. This investigation was conducted jointly with FMCSA.