By Jena Williams and Randy Clark

In January of each year, we honor the Washington State trucking industry workers who died in the previous year due to an on-the-job injury by posting this memorial blog. Each year, as we pull the information together, I wish that we didn’t have to, that there would be no truck drivers lost and that this would be an unnecessary blog to write.

Sadly, in 2013, there were five truck drivers lost on the job. Five truck drivers who didn’t come home at the end of their shifts. Five truck drivers whose friends, families, and companies will never be the same again.

We don’t know a lot about the lives they lived but we do know that they worked in an industry that makes our lives better. When you read their obituaries, you see that trucking wasn’t just a job for any of them; it was what they wanted to do. Truck driving was their career of choice. Each driver worked a hard job and lost their lives doing it.

Here is some of the story:

Carl Barnfield, 48, Truck Driver
Died: April 22, 2013

Mr. Barnfield was attempting to disconnect a semi from its trailer, when the driver of the truck pulled forward and ran over him.

http://www.grandforksgazette.ca/obituaries/?cmpRegion=&paper=264&paperSelect=0&submit=&name=&skip=80

Robert Valdez, 37, Truck Driver
Died: October 7, 2013

Mr. Valdez died when his truck carrying a load of potatoes collided with another truck that ran a stop sign at an intersection.

http://washington.obituaries.funeral.com/2013/10/10/robert-g-valdez/

James Morton, 51, Truck Driver
Died: November 13, 2013

Mr. Morton died when his semi-truck left a state highway and crashed.

http://www.legacy.com/obituaries/tricityherald/obituary.aspx?pid=168216540

Dale Weaver, 59, Truck Driver
Died: December 16, 2013

Mr. Weaver died when a vehicle crossed the median of an interstate highway and struck his semi-truck.

http://www.legacy.com/obituaries/xeniagazette/obituary.aspx?pid=168628277

Michael Webber, 37, Log Truck Driver
Died: December 23, 2013

Mr. Webber died when his loaded log truck crashed after failing to negotiate a curve on a logging road.

http://thedailyworld.com/obituaries/michael-james-webber

Truck drivers, we appreciate you. We will continue to work to keep you safe on the job. I look forward to the year when we don’t have to write this story. Here’s to a safe and healthy 2014!

Link to our previous memorial blogs:

2012: http://tires.lni.wa.gov/post/40523972961/in-memoriam

2011: http://tires.lni.wa.gov/post/15568957315/in-memoriam