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Dangerous Driving and Unsafe Truck?

PIKE COUNTY — The trucker who crashed his rig into the back of a state trooper’s car early Wednesday morning remains in the Pike County jail, charge...

PIKE COUNTY -- The trucker who crashed his rig into the back of a state trooper's car early Wednesday morning remains in the Pike County jail, charged with driving under the influence.

A Newswatch 16 investigation finds the driver and truck have been written up for a series of safety violations.

If Cecil Lipscomb of Massachusetts was driving under the influence of beer and cocaine, as the police claim, he shouldn't have been behind the wheel.

But a police report and an inspection report Newswatch 16 obtained show the rig also had safety questions.

The truck driven by Cecil Lipscomb is an impound lot in Pike County. Police report a search of Lipscomb's truck found, "false logbook violations," indicating he was driving straight for more than 13 hours. It is illegal to drive more than 11 without rest.

"You get tired after nine or ten hours, you should shut down," said Ohio trucker Brenda Hoffman.

Hoffman believes truckers who lie on their log books should be fined and fired.

"It's very serious, OK? It really is," said Hoffman. "Because that could be my family in front of you that you might hit because you're going to fall asleep at the wheel."

While the driver has not been charged with falsifying his log book, Newswatch 16 has obtained truck inspection records that found 21 violations during three inspections last year, including substandard brakes, tires, power steering, and light issues.

"I know I can't do that. We get one or two violations and we'd be out of a job," said Kansas trucker Murl Cooper, saying people in his profession frown on poor equipment.

"You got to practice safety. It just don't happen," said Cooper.

"It's important and critical for proper maintenance, but it goes hand in hand. You have to have a well-rested driver who has got the proper equipment," said John Lannen, the executive director of the Truck Safety Coalition.

Lannen believes states need tougher laws and tougher enforcement.

In the Pike County crash, the police report finds Cecil Lipscomb may have been drinking, using cocaine, and driving too many hours at the time of the crash.

Lannen says these factors help explain the 45 percent increase in truck accidents in the U.S. in the last six years.

"Fatigue is an impairment just like an illegal substance," said Lannen.

Sgt. Michael Carroll, who was in the state police cruiser struck by Lipscomb's truck was treated and released at the hospital. There's no word when he can return to duty.

A woman Lipscomb was traveling with is also behind bars on drug possession charges.

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