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Postal Service severing mail contract with California trucking company

Caminantes Trucking involved in 11 crashes — including 2 fatal wrecks — over 2-year period

The U.S. Postal Service is canceling its mail contract with Caminantes Trucking of Long Beach, California. (Photo: Jim Allen/FreightWaves)

The U.S. Postal Service is canceling its mail contract with a California-based trucking company with a history of safety violations and drivers who were involved in two fatal crashes in the past two years.

“The Postal Service reviewed the association with Caminante[s] Trucking and chose to end the contractual relationship,” a statement to FreightWaves said. 

The Postal Service spokesperson said Caminantes was notified last Friday about the decision to cut ties with the mail carrier and the government agency expects “to have replacement carriers named within two weeks.” 

The Long Beach trucking company officially has the same name as its owner, Jose Mauricio Coreas, but does business as Caminantes Trucking. Caminantes, listed as an intrastate-only company, has 46 power units and 37 drivers, according to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s SAFER website. 

Coreas did not respond to FreightWaves’ request seeking comment about the Postal Service’s decision to cut ties with his company.

The company’s contract carrier authority has been revoked and reinstated twice since its operating authority was granted in August 2008, according to FMCSA data.

Caminantes’ trucks have been inspected 223 times and 65 have been placed out of service in a 24-month period, resulting in a 29.1% out-of-service rate, which is significantly higher than the industry’s national average of around 22%. 

Drivers for Caminantes were inspected 331 times and 20 were placed out of service, resulting in a 6% out-of-service rate, according to FMCSA data. The national average for drivers is nearly 6.6%.

Truck drivers for Caminantes were involved in 11 crashes — including two fatality wrecks in Colorado and California — over a 24-month period. 

Since the trucking company’s authority was granted in 2008, Caminantes Trucking was ordered to pay $28,160 in fines — $6,700 for an enforcement case in September 2013 and $21,460 in November 2022, according to FMCSA data.

History of safety violations

Investigators claim Coreas subcontracted with other carriers to haul mail, including a company called Lucky 22 Inc. of Arvada, Colorado, which is owned by his son, Carlos Coreas.

In June 2022, one of Lucky 22’s drivers, Jesus Puebla, 26, who was driving a Kenworth T800 straight truck, was involved in a fatal crash near Mead, Colorado, that killed a family of five — Aaron Godinez, his fiance, their 3-month-old daughter and his parents, Emiliano Godines and Christina Godines.

Investigators estimate that Puebla was traveling at approximately 70 mph when he slammed into the 2015 Ford Edge SUV driven by Godinez, who was traveling less than 10 mph because of stopped traffic ahead on Interstate 25, according to the wrongful death lawsuit filed by the Godineses’ two surviving children in October 2022. 

Court documents claim Puebla did not have a valid CDL or medical card as required by FMCSA to operate a commercial motor vehicle. At the time of the crash, investigators found that the brakes on the straight truck owned by Carlos Coreas that was driven by Puebla “were out of adjustment.” 

In December, Puebla was charged with five counts of vehicular homicide, careless driving, reckless driving, commercial vehicle safety violation and driving without a commercial driver license, according to the arrest affidavit.

The company Puebla drove for, Lucky 22, also did not have its for-hire operating authority with FMCSA at the time of the crash, court filings state.

Lucky 22 owner Carlos Coreas did not respond to FreightWaves’ request seeking comment.

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Clarissa Hawes

Clarissa has covered all aspects of the trucking industry for 16 years. She is an award-winning journalist known for her investigative and business reporting. Before joining FreightWaves, she wrote for Land Line Magazine and If you have a news tip or story idea, send her an email to [email protected].