Investigation: Trucking company involved in fatal Newport News crash also involved in other collisions

Posted at 6:50 PM, Jun 15, 2012
and last updated 2012-06-15 21:48:16-04

The truck driver in his 40s who told police he had a medical emergency before he crashed into a car yesterday killing a young mother, has a history of more than a dozen traffic convictions going back to 2000.

Christopher L. Johnson has at least four speeding convictions in general district courts, mainly near where he lives in Richmond, at least another four convictions for expired registrations, or improper registrations, four more for driving without a license, or for driving on a suspended license, and at least three convictions for traffic charges including illegal U-turn, and disregarding signals and signs.

State police, who gave the driver's name, provided two addresses for him in Richmond. NewsChannel 3 used those records to check the driving record of a Christopher L. Johnson, of Richmond, who lived at both addresses. Police did not give his date of birth, and the reckless-driving ticket he was given with more identifying information was not yet filed in court.

The company, whose name is on the truck, has been involved in at least four other fatal crashes in the past two years, and dozens of other collisions that sent drivers to hospitals.

Federal records show the trucking company, Vitran, overall has an acceptable safety record, considering the size of the fleet and the number of miles driven; however, regulators have noted a higher-than-acceptable number of maintenance problems with the company's trucks.

Police have not disclosed what the driver's medical problem was. Calls and emails to the company were not returned