The investigation was a follow up to a 2009/2010 investigation conducted by Animals’ Angels. Investigators arrived at 5:30 a.m. at the Yuma truck stop. The temperature was 18 degrees with light snow. After a while, they observed a truck leased to L.W. Miller drive into town, a company which already has been fined $28,000.00 in the past for violating Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations. The truck pulled a double deck trailer with weather protection and there were pigs on both levels. Investigators followed the truck on his way west to the Farmer John slaughter plant in California. The solo driver drove sensibly though inconsistently as he sometimes exceeded the speed limit by 15 miles an hour.
At the Eisenhower tunnel the temperature dropped to 16 degrees. 20 hours after leaving Yuma the truck pulled into the slaughter plant in Mt. Vernon. It was 48 degrees upon arrival. Total mileage was 1192. The investigation revealed that the trucking company is still using solo drivers for this 20 hour trip, which is a severe safety risk. Many accidents on US roadways involve overtired truck drivers. Especially when hauling a trailer full of live animals, trucking companies should receive high fines for ignoring the safety regulations. Legally, solo drivers are only allowed to drive for 11 hours, then they have to take a 10 hour break. Animals’ Angels has reported this incident to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration.