A truck driver involved in a wreck that seriously injured two children was in two previous crashes – including one in Colorado last year where federal regulators alleged he was driving without a commercial license.
Carlos Monroy, 60, hasn’t been cited in the Wednesday crash on Interstate 70, which Colorado State Patrol troopers have blamed on distracted driving.
The crash sent five people to area hospitals – including two children.
Trooper Nate Reid said the driver Monroy must have been distracted by something, because he had plenty of time to see the vehicles slowing in front of him.
CSP told 9Wants To Know it was investigating a distraction, but troopers don’t believe it was a device.
The family in the first car Monroy hit has been identified as Seth Schwartz, 40, and Melissa Duncan, 40, from West Palm Beach, Fla. They were treated at a hospital for minor injuries.
Their 5-year-old daughter and 8-year-old son were flown to Children’s Hospital with serious injuries.
9Wants To Know spoke with the owner of the company Monroy drove for.
Grabow Trucking has three trucks and is based in Loveland.
Owner Yahn Grabow told Anastasiya Bolton that Monroy had been driving for him for two years, with overall 40 years driving experience.
“I’m praying for the accident victims,” Grabow said. “He’s [Monroy] never ever had anything like this happen in his 40 years. He’s going through a hard time right now. We put all our prayers to the accident victims. It’s a hard time. We wish the best for them.”
Grabow said Monroy was coming back from a drop off job in Silverthorne. His truck was empty.
Monroy was going to load up on sand and park the truck ready for a job Thursday.
According to federal records, Grabow Trucking has been cited for violations three times in the past two years – one of them for a crash April 14, 2015, in Jackson County. In that crash, a tractor-trailer rig driven by Monroy went off the road and rolled onto its side in a curve, according to a CSP report.
According to court records, Monroy was initially cited for careless driving and driving without a commercial license but ultimately pleaded guilty to a charge of improper mountain driving.
Grabow told 9NEWS that Monroy's medical certificate was expired, which invalidated his commercial driver's license.
"But after he renewed his medical card, the CDL was valid again," Grabow told 9NEWS.
Grabow added that every two years, a driver has to take a department of transportation physical and get a medical card. Grabow told 9NEWS that Monroy just "lost track of time and forgot to get his medical card renewed."
The day after the accident, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration hit Grabow Trucking with two violations – one for having a driver operating without proper endorsements or in violation of restrictions and one for a “miscellaneous traffic law violation.”
In addition, 9Wants To Know has confirmed that Monroy was involved in a crash in Arizona on Feb. 15. A copy of the accident report, obtained by 9NEWS, shows that Monroy drifted off the side of the road and lost control of his rig. The trailer broke free and flipped onto its side, but truck stayed on its wheels. Monroy told officers that the wreck occurred as he tried to move out of the way of an oncoming car – but that other motorist was never identified. Monroy was not ticketed in that case.
Grabow’s other violations included operating a truck Oct. 17, 2014, with a broken speedometer and a registration violation, and for an incident Feb. 26, 2015, in which one of its drivers was cited for speeding.
The company’s owner said he knew about Monroy’s infractions and said he conducts background checks on his drivers. In general, Grabow’s insurance carrier would flag a driver with bad driving history, he said, and would not insure someone with a bad record.