Falsified driver records lead to sentencing of truck company owner
January 27, 2021
A fatal crash more than two years ago and halfway across the country led to the undoing of a Rhode Island truck company and its owner.
Damir Sisic, who owned the now-defunct Sisic Transportation Services, pleaded guilty to one felony charge of conspiracy to falsify records in the U.S. District Court of Rhode Island.
According to court records, Sisic provided altered driving records to a state trooper investigating the fatality of an STS driver, which occurred April 22, 2018, in Oklahoma.
Sisic also was alleged to have provided altered driving recorded for numerous company drivers to an investigator for the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration as part of a compliance review.
At any given time, STS employed between seven and 10 drivers.
U.S. Department of Transportation regulations require accurate record keeping, including records related to drivers’ actual hours of service.
Sisic violated federal law when he routinely altered logbooks and concealed his company’s drivers were exceeding the maximum number of driving hours without the required off-duty hours.
Driver fatigue was ruled not to be a factor in the fatal crash as it was discovered the driver had a number of undisclosed medical issues that made him unfit to operate a commercial motor vehicle, according to the defendant’s sentencing memorandum.
Sisic previously admitted to the court he routinely altered data collected by the automatic onboard recording devices purchased in October 2017 for 11 commercial trucks owned by his company. Text messages obtained show Sisic conspired with STS drivers to falsify logbooks.
The AOBRD application does not allow a driver to edit the drive time portion of their log, but a company official with edit rights can change any portion of the service record or electronic log.
Omnitracs (the company STS used for electronic logging devices), began transitioning their customers from AOBRDs to electronic logging devices to comply with a 2015 regulatory change in January 2018.
Sisic, 30 of Woonsocket, R.I., was sentenced on Jan. 25 to three years of probation, six months of home incarceration, 50 hours of community service, and he also was ordered to pay a $1,000 fine. LL