PETA Shows That Latest Deadly Crash Caused by Truck Operator With Numerous Charges on Record, Including DWI
For Immediate Release:
May 2, 2013
David Perle 202-483-7382
Monroe, N.C. – PETA has fired off a letter to Ronnie Parker, general manager of Monroe, N.C.–based Circle S Ranch, Inc., asking him to institute a policy immediately against hiring and contracting with drivers who have a record of driving-related offenses or who have been found to have been at fault in an accident. PETA is also calling on the company to develop and implement a crash-response policy to ensure that turkeys who are victims of crashes are promptly rescued and humanely handled. PETA’s letter follows the April 24 crash of a truck loaded with Circle S turkeys and operated by Mark Nepsa that ran off U.S. 220 in Henry County, Va., killing hundreds of the birds. Nepsa has an abysmal driving record, including a conviction for driving while impaired and driving while his license was revoked. His past charges also include felony manufacture of a controlled substance. This marks at least the sixth accident involving a truck hauling for Circle S just since September 2009.
“This driver’s record reads like a rap sheet, yet the turkey hauler still handed him the keys, and he crashed, causing the painful and terrifying deaths of animals—as well as endangering other motorists,” says PETA Senior Vice President Daphna Nachminovitch. “PETA wants this incident to serve as a wake-up call to Circle S Ranch to hire and contract with only drivers with clean records and to enact a crash-response plan that ensures prompt and humane help for injured birds.”
In its letter, PETA points out that Circle S employees arrived on the scene more than four hours after the crash. When a truck hauling 600 Circle S turkeys flipped last year on the same road, several witnesses reported that workers jumped on live birds and struck the animals’ heads against cages.
PETA has posted an action alert on its popular website asking visitors to urge the company to follow the group’s recommendations.
For more information, please visit PETA.org.
PETA’s letter to Circle S Ranch follows.
May 2, 2013
Circle S Ranch, Inc.
Dear Mr. Parker:
I am writing to share the disturbing driving record of Mark Robert Nepsa—who, while hauling nearly 1,000 turkeys for your company, crashed a tractor trailer in Henry County, Va., on April 24—and to ask you to take immediate personnel and planning measures to protect all whose safety is put at risk by these wrecks. Nepsa, of Monroe, N.C., ran off U.S. 220 and overturned the vehicle, and many turkeys were killed upon impact and in the hours that followed. Nepsa was cited for failure to maintain proper control of the vehicle.
Nepsa’s driving record is remarkably bad. He has been charged with at least
12 traffic offenses in North Carolina and South Carolina since 1986. In July 2003, Nepsa was convicted of driving while impaired in Mecklenburg County, N.C., and had his driver’s license revoked—for at least the second time. Nepsa has also been convicted of driving while his license was revoked and of speeding, after being charged with traveling 63 mph in a 45-mph zone in Union County, N.C. Nepsa’s record also includes charges of driving with no license, having an expired vehicle registration, unlawful motor carrier operations, and felony manufacture of a controlled substance.
Circle S Ranch’s history of such crashes—and its slow, inhumane response to them—is just as abysmal. Despite wrecks in June 2012, March 2011, August 2010, February 2010, and September 2009 involving trucks that were hauling your turkeys, Circle S employees did not arrive at last week’s crash site until more than four hours had passed. When a truck hauling 600 turkeys flipped last year on the very same road in Henry Co., Va., several witnesses reported seeing your workers jump on live birds, throw birds against the side of a truck, and strike birds’ heads against cages.
Many hope that you will finally grasp the urgency with which your company must act to prevent these deadly wrecks. We urge Circle S to review all company and contract drivers’ records and fitness to haul live animals immediately and to prohibit the use of any drivers who have multiple driving-related offenses or are found to have been at fault in any crash. We ask that you please develop and implement a detailed plan to ensure that turkeys who are victims of crashes are promptly rescued, humanely handled, and painlessly relieved of their suffering on site. Doing all this would be in the best interests of the public and of animals alike. Thank you for your time and consideration.
Senior Research Associate
Cruelty Investigations Department