A Lincoln-based trash hauler with chronic safety violations has been fined $331,920 in civil penalties by the Nebraska State Patrol after one of its workers died on the job and federal officials concluded that the company had severe problems with maintenance.

The State Patrol’s Carrier Enforcement Division launched its investigation into Von Busch and Sons Inc. after the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration listed Von Busch as having problemswith maintenance and operation, according to a statement by the patrol.

The patrol became further concerned about safety at the company when a Von Busch employee died this winter, the statement said. James Baker had been riding on a trash truck Feb. 15 when it slid on ice and pinned him against a tree.

State Patrol investigators found 453 violations at Von Busch. They involved maintenance, controlled substances, alcohol testing and driver qualifications.

A representative of Von Busch could not be reached for comment Thursday night.

Seven compliance reviews of Von Busch from 2002 to 2016 found a number of safety violations, most having to do with a lack of maintenance, according to the patrol.

Additionally, after Von Busch gave the patrol its most recent safety improvement plan, it did not take sufficient corrective action, the patrol said. 

Nancy Gaarder helps cover public safety and weather events as an editor on The World-Herald's breaking news desk. Follow her on Twitter @gaarder. Phone: 402-444-1102.

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