It didn’t take long for Three Angels Farms, a small Tennessee-based trucking operator shut down by federal regulators in June for numerous safety violations, to resurface again.
The principals of Three Angels simply relaunched their horse-hauling operation as Terri’s Farm, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration said last week.
The FMCSA ordered Terri’s Farm off the road Aug. 31 after finding it was operating the same vehicles and had the same management as Three Angels Farms.
In other words, the company was a “reincarnated” carrier established to evade federal regulators and the out-of-service order, the FMCSA said.
The closure was the latest in an FMCSA crackdown that has shuttered more than 10 unsafe trucking companies in the past year, including Three Angels and Terri’s Farm.
In more than one case, the targeted motor carrier was a “reincarnated” or “chameleon” operator that changed its name to evade an out-of-service order.
That’s getting harder for motor carriers to do because of new regulations.
Regulations that took effect May 29 made it easier for the FMCSA to consolidate and track records to identify and crack down on “reincarnated” trucking operations.
Those rules should help the agency catch more reincarnated carriers, though still probably fewer than 50 carriers a year, the FMCSA said in its rule-making.
“We will use every little bit of our authority to get bad actors off the road,” FMCSA Administrator Anne S. Ferro said during a press conference in May.
“We now have a rule in place that allows us to connect the dots and to shut down any entity that is affiliated with” a carrier ordered out of service, she said.
In the case of Terri’s Farm, an FMCSA investigation concluded the company was managed and controlled by Dorian G. Ayache, a principal of Three Angels Farm.
Three Angels was also involved in two accidents in 2012, including one in January where a driver fell asleep and overturned his vehicle on an interstate highway.
That accident killed three of the 38 horses the driver was hauling. The driver told police he had worked at the farm all night with only 30 minutes of rest.
Another Three Angels Driver was involved in an accident that resulted in the death of a horse in June, when his trailer “snapped in half” on an interstate highway.
Terri's Farm and Three Angels hauled horses destined for a slaughterhouse in Mexico to Presidio, Texas, according to FMCSA documents.
The June 29 FMCSA out-of-service order applied to both Ayache and his brother Edwin Ayache as individuals as well as Three Angels Farms’ operations.
After Three Angels was shut down, Ayache partnered with Theresa C. Vincent to launch Terri’s Farm, using two of the same drivers and three trucks.
“Dorian G. Ayache physically holds the three Certificates of Title and there is no record of any payment from Terri’s Farm for the vehicles,” the FMCSA said.
“Terri’s Farm continues, in all significant aspects, the operations of Three Angels Farms,” the FMCSA said in its out-of-service order, available here.