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Friday, August 30, 2013

No Dignity in Death: Trucker Denied Last Ride Home

Story thanks to Link provided below:
OTR drivers almost never get home. It means that they spend a lot of time away from their families of course, but it also means that when something goes wrong, they may be far, far away. This was the case with driver Raymond White.
It was July 15th when Cathy Rossi, White’s girlfriend, knew something was wrong. White usually called her in the mornings, but she hadn’t heard from him, and couldn’t reach him. She tried calling the company he was driving for, Southern Refrigerated Transport (SRT) to see if they could help.
“I made a couple phone calls that day and they got kind of nasty with me on the phone,” Rossi said. “They never called back. That’s when I found the missing truck driver network on Facebook.”
With help from The Missing Truck Driver Alert Network, a group that utilizes truck drivers on the road to help find their missing fellow drivers, the New Mexico State Troopers were able to find White’s truck 12 hours later using the same information that Rossi gave to SRT. The troopers found that White had died of a heart attack.
Though tragic, the story up to this point is not unheard of. What happens next though clearly shows a huge issue with our industry. SRT, the company that wouldn’t help track down one of their own drivers, refused to transport White’s body or personal belongings without first receiving a cash payment. Though the amount requested wasn’t disclosed, it was beyond what the family could afford.
SRT is by no means a small company. It is part of the Covenant Transportation Group which is made up of six different trucking companies including Covenant Transport and Star Transportation. SRT certainly had the means of transporting White’s remains and his belongings back home whether in their own trucks or by paying to have them returned.
As one user on our forum said, “I understand it’s not the company’s responsibility to get the deceased drivers belongings home, but how about a little human decency??”
Instead, White’s family turned to Trucker Charity Inc., a group that’s dedicated to “fostering the brotherhood of trucking that we so deeply miss.” The Trucker Charity helped White’s friends and family raise $2,000 and helped connect them with multiple truckers who took White’s remains and belongings as extra cargo.
Thanks to Trucker Charity and the three drivers they helped find, 15 days his body was found, his remains were delivered 2,730 miles to his family. Raymond White had been a professional truck driver for 20 years.

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