Reporting David Goldstein
CUDAHY (CBS) — KCAL9′s investigative reporter David Goldstein dug into the records of the company whose tanker truck exploded Wednesday on the Pomona (60) Freeway.
According to federal safety records obtained by KCAL9, the 2006 Cool Transports truck that burst into flames was written up for violations twice in the past two years, the most recent in April of this year.
Both times the violation was listed as “Inspection/repair and maintenance parts and accessories.” There was no further explanation.
KCAL9’s David Goldstein knocked on the door of the Cool Transports dispatch center in Cudahy. “Can we just talk to you guys about the accident,” asked Goldstein. No one answered.
The owner of Cool Transports declined to be interviewed, but told Goldstein over the phone that the company has a good safety record.
Sources say investigators from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration have asked for inspection records, which is routine.
CHP investigators are looking into whether the brakes may have overheated.
According to the federal inspections, the entire fleet of Cool Transports trucks has had two accidents in the past two years, but four brake problems this year alone. None were listed as serious, and overall their inspection record is better than the national average.
On the lot, the company’s drivers weren’t talking. But Amdy Vandemeer, who drives a tanker filled with gasoline for another company says it’s always a danger.
“Honestly, I say a prayer before I take off,” says Vandemeer. “I won’t turn my radio on until I’ve prayed.”
CHP investigators say it could be days or weeks before they determine the exact cause of the accident. Depending on which way it goes, the company could be liable for millions of dollars in damages.