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FMCSA Declares West Virginia-Licensed Driver an Imminent Hazard to Public Safety (Jeffrey Brannon - March 14, 2024)

Friday, March 15, 2024

The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has declared West Virginia-licensed commercial driver Jeffrey Brannon to be an imminent hazard to public safety and ordered him to immediately cease operating any commercial motor vehicle (CMV) in interstate or intrastate commerce.  Brannon was served the Federal order on March 13, 2024.

On March 4, 2024, Brannon was transporting nineteen students from school to their homes while driving a Calhoun County Board of Education school bus on South Calhoun Highway in West Virginia. Brannon lost control of the bus off the right edge of the roadway and overcorrected, causing the bus to roll over on its side in the middle of the highway. On-board surveillance footage captures a video of the accident which shows Brannon driving erratically and swerving on the two-lane road. Three students were transported to area hospitals to be treated for serious injuries. Subsequent testing showed Brannon had a blood alcohol concentration of 0.127%, well over the .04 threshold for a CMV driver.  Under the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations, drivers with a commercial driver’s license (CDL) are subject to a variety of prohibitions on use of alcohol prior to and while driving CMVs, including a prohibition on using any alcohol within four hours of driving and a prohibition on driving with an alcohol concentration of .04 or greater.  
Based on this, Brannon will be listed as prohibited in FMCSA’s Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse, and FMCSA is working with the state of West Virginia to disqualify his CDL. He is charged in West Virginia with one count of driving under the influence of alcohol, controlled substances and three counts of child neglect resulting in injury; child neglect creating risk of injury. 

FMCSA’s Imminent Hazard Out-of-Service Order states that Brannon’s “blatant violations of the FMCSRs and disregard for the safety of your school-age passengers and other highway users demonstrated by these actions substantially increases the likelihood of serious injury or death to you and the motoring public.” 

Failing to comply with the provisions of the Federal Imminent Hazard Order may result in civil penalties of up to $2,304.  Knowing and/or willful violations may result in criminal penalties.

A copy of the Imminent Hazard Order issued to Jeffrey Brannon is available here.