An Edgerton-based limousine service involved in a fatal crash in Illinois in March has been ordered by federal officials to stop service immediately.
The order says Lyons Limousine LLC is “an imminent hazard to public safety.” It cannot operate either within Wisconsin or outside the state based on the order served on company owners Mary and Patrick Lyons on Friday by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA).
On March 25, a Lyons limousine driven by Aaron Nash, 20, of Janesville, and carrying six Madison-area passengers heading to O’Hare Airport for a vacation to Mexico crashed and overturned on Interstate 90 in Elgin, Illinois, killing Terri Schmidt, 53, of Monona.
An FMCSA investigation found the company to be in violation of multiple federal safety regulations, including:
- Repeatedly using an underage driver to operate a commercial motor vehicle.
- Failing to conduct required pre-employment background checks on its drivers.
- Failing to keep maintenance records.
- Failing to monitor its drivers’ hours of service to prevent fatigued driving.
Federal rules require interstate commercial drivers to be at least 21 years old. The FMCSA investigation showed Nash had been dispatched at least two other times in March.FMCSA also said Nash and Mary Lyons, the two drivers for the company, had poor driving records. Nash’s driver’s license was suspended in September, and Mary Lyons’ driver’s license was suspended in 2013.
“Lyons Limousine’s use of unqualified and underaged drivers with poor driving records, lack of inspection, repair and maintenance records, and complete disregard of the hours-of-service regulations, substantially increases the likelihood of death or serious harm to drivers, passengers and the motoring public, if not discontinued immediately,” FMCSA said in the order.
Lyons could face fines for both civil and criminal offenses, FMCSA said.
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