Archive for category memoriam

In Memory and Honor

The Washington State Department of Labor & Industries held its Worker Memorial Day ceremony on April 28th to remember the workers who died in 2020 from job-related injuries and illnesses. The virtual ceremony included remarks from Gov. Jay Inslee, representatives from the Association of Washington Business, the Washington State Labor Council, the Washington Self-Insurers Association, and Tina Meyer, whose son Cody was working as a flagger when he was hit and killed by a distracted driver in 2015. This year’s ceremony entered 119 names into the Worker Memorial book, which is on permanent display in the agency’s headquarters’ in Tumwater. The the names of the fallen workers were read aloud with the traditional ringing of the bell after each one.

At Keep Trucking Safe, we honor those truck drivers who worked tirelessly to better the lives of their families and our community but tragically died as a result of doing their job. We remember the following truck drivers whose names were called among the fallen workers honored this year:

Robert Douglas Brown, 51, Died: May 23, 2017

Mr. Brown passed away from angiosarcoma of the liver after years of chemical exposure at Hanford.

Thomas B. Witte, 75, Died: February 27, 2020

Mr. Witte passed away from complications of a traumatic brain injury that he sustained from falling and hitting his head on cement.

Obituary

Johnathon Bert Frase, 44, Died: April 8, 2020

Mr. Frase died after years of asbestos exposure that resulted in stomach cancer. (Hanford Presumption).

Ivan Cardenas, 34, Died: June 29, 2020

Mr. Cardenas was driving his log truck on a forest service road when he lost control on a corner and the truck left the road and rolled over.

Obituary

Dale H. Johnson, 21, Died: November 7, 2020

Mr. Johnson died of injuries resulting from a truck cab fire.

Obituary

Donald “Don” Jerome Grigsby, 70, Died: November 27, 2020

Mr. Grigsby succumbed to complications resulting from an industrial related motor vehicle accident.

Obituary

Please add your remembrances in the comments. We have tried to find obituaries or news articles for all, but if you know of any we missed please add those too.Thank you to Randy Clark and the Washington State Fatality Assessment and Control Evaluation (FACE) Program for providing the data.

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Nine Truck Drivers Died on the Job in Washington State During 2019

We at Keeptruckingsafe.org send our deepest condolences to the family and friends of the drivers we lost in 2019. We believe every worker deserves to go home safe each night. It is always hard to find the right words to talk about losing members of our community. These men worked to provide for their families and transport the goods that keep America strong. We truly appreciate and respect the hard work trucking professionals do each day. We hope that by keeping safety as part of the daily conversation, we can contribute to the end of trucking-related deaths in Washington State.

Below we have listed each truck driver in order of date of death. If we could find an obituary, it is included. Please use the comments to pay your respects to these drivers. We did our best to include obituaries, but were unable to find some. If you are aware of any we missed, add them to the comments.

Gone too soon are:

James Hayward, 67, Truck Driver

Died: January 4, 2019

Mr. Hayward was driving a semi-truck on an icy interstate highway when his truck was involved in a multi-vehicle collision.

Derick Abshire, 33, Truck Driver

Died: March 14, 2019

Mr. Abshire parked his semi-truck trailer in a roadway turnout and got out of his truck to tarp his load. As he was doing this, he fell backwards and was run over by the tires of a passing semi-truck and trailer.

Hai Feng Lou, age undetermined, Truck Driver

Died: July 29, 2019

Mr. Feng Lou was loading his trailer with freight when the truck started to roll forward. He fell under the truck’s wheels and was crushed.

Steven Harshman, 64, Truck Driver

Died: July 31, 2019

Mr. Harshman pulled his semi-truck onto the shoulder of an interstate highway. He exited the cab and went under the truck to make repairs. As he was doing this the truck rolled over him.

Obituary

Marvin Vansickel, 80, Truck Driver

Died: September 30, 2019

Mt. Vansickel died when his semi-truck with a double trailer left a state highway when he missed a curve.

Leopoldo Parra Núñez, 42, Truck Driver

Died: October 9, 2019

Mr. Parra Núñez was employed at a potato farm when he was shot by a coworker during an argument.

Obituary

Hector Medrano, 60, Truck Driver

Died: October 11, 2019

Mr. Medrano was driving a semi-truck with two trailers downhill along a state highway when the truck’s brakes failed. He attempted to guide the truck onto a runaway truck ramp, but instead his truck crashed into several trees.

Obituary

Robert Smith, 58, Log Truck Driver

Died: November 8, 2019

Mr. Smith died when his truck left a logging road and struck a tree.

Lakwinder Singh, 30, Truck Driver

Died: December 15, 2019

Mr. Singh was outside his truck parked on the shoulder of an interstate highway when a vehicle struck him.

Thank you to Randy Clark and the Washington State Fatality Assessment and Control Evaluation (FACE) Program for providing the data.

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Celebrate the Life of Frank Riordan

Frank Riordan with his granddaughter

Frank Riordan with his granddaughter

It is with great sadness that we share with you of the passing of Frank Riordan, president of the Washington Trucking Associations (WTA). Frank, an outstanding leader in Washington State’s trucking community, passed away unexpectedly on Tuesday, October 2, 2018.

A memorial to celebrate Frank’s life will be held Saturday, October 13, 2018 from 2 to 5 p.m. at Billy Baroo’s Bar & Grill at Foster’s Golf Links in Tukwila. This will be a casual event to share stories and remember a great man. Parking will be tight, so please carpool if possible.

The family has asked in lieu of flowers for donations to Tukwila Pantry Food Bank.

Read Frank’s obituary

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In Memoriam

Last month we recognized Worker Memorial Day, this month we’d like to acknowledge that a good portion of the workers lost in 2017 were truck drivers. In fact 15 truck drivers died on the job last year. That is 2 more than 2016. We are working to prevent this trend from continuing. By: Jena Cole

Last month we recognized Worker Memorial Day, this month we’d like to acknowledge that a good portion of the workers lost in 2017 were truck drivers. In fact 15 truck drivers died on the job last year. That is 2 more than 2016. We are working to prevent this trend from continuing.

Every driver needs to return home safe at the end of the day. We at TIRES will continue to work with industry leaders to develop safety training to get us there.

Drivers, we appreciate you and want you to stay safe.

Together we can prevent work-related deaths in trucking.

 

Drivers we lost:

Stephen Poch, 66, Truck Driver

Died: February 1, 2017

Mr. Poch was standing on top of a tanker oil truck to check its level while loading when he tripped and fell 8 feet.

 

Timothy Koelzer, 62, Truck Driver

Died: March 1, 2017

Mr. Koelzer was unhooking a lowboy trailer when the trailer fell on him.

http://www.legacy.com/obituaries/tricityherald/obituary.aspx?n=timothy-james-koelzer&pid=184387957&fhid=2302

 

Freddy Shoenbachler, 62, Truck Driver

Died: March 27, 2017

Mr. Shoenbachler, a truck driver at a metal recycling plant, was drilling a hole in a natural gas cylinder that was on top of a bus. The tank rapidly depressurized once the drill bit penetrated the cylinder, resulting in him being thrown 20 feet off the bus.

http://www.legacy.com/obituaries/tribnet/obituary.aspx?n=freddy-schoenbachler&pid=185029314

 

Bradley Donovan, 46, Truck Driver

Died May 11, 2017

Mr. Donovan, a semi-truck driver was driving a truck along an interstate highway when he braked for traffic his truck rear-ended another truck and then swerved and hit a Jersey barrier.

http://www.thenewstribune.com/news/local/article150310697.html

 

Miguel Penado, 58, Truck Driver

Died: May 15, 2017

Mr. Penado, a truck driver employed by a moving company, was driving a semi-truck carrying a load of cardboard boxes along a state highway when the truck left the roadway and crashed into a power pole.

http://www.ifiberone.com/news/quincy-man-killed-in-semi-truck-crash-on-sr-near/article_47683b3a-39ef-11e7-aade-c78998f9adb1.html

 

Steven Osburn, 60, Truck Driver

Died: July 6, 2017

Mr. Osburn was driving a semi-truck and trailer along a state highway when a box truck veered across the centerline and struck his vehicle. Both drivers died at the scene.

http://lmtribune.com/obituaries/steven-g-osburn/article_4ccf30cf-dd4d-5a51-98a1-fb05f5cd567e.html

 

Kenneth Fennix, 25, Truck Driver

Died: July 6, 2017

Mr. Fennix was driving a box truck along a state highway when his vehicle veered across the centerline and struck a semi-truck. Both drivers died at the scene

https://www.yakimaherald.com/obituaries/kenneth-wayne-fennix/article_1cf5c0f2-6677-11e7-a14f-eb59cb9206d1.html

 

Edward Hedrick, 57, Truck Driver

Died: July 17, 2017

Mr. Hedrick was exiting the cab of his truck which was parked in his employer’s truck yard when he slipped or tripped, hitting his head on the truck’s steps.

https://www.legacy.com/obituaries/name/edward-hedrick-obituary?pid=186153430&view=guestbook

 

Tyler Hardy, 26, Truck Driver

Died: October 23, 2017

Mr. Hardy was driving along a county road when he lost control of his truck, which then left the road and rolled over.

http://www.legacy.com/obituaries/bellinghamherald/obituary.aspx?n=tyler-hardy&pid=187059214&fhid=9049

 

Garrett Raphael, 26, Truck Driver

Died October 24, 2017

Mr. Raphael was crushed by the box van he was driving when he stepped out of the van and the van rolled forward, pinning him against the wall of a building.

http://komonews.com/news/local/federal-way-man-dies-after-pinned-between-van-and-storage-unit

 

Aaron Cochran, 44, Log Truck Driver

Died: October 31, 2017

Mr. Cochran lost control of his fully loaded log truck on a curve of a state highway.

http://www.legacy.com/obituaries/peninsuladailynews/obituary.aspx?n=aaron-cochran&pid=187196363

 

Cheryl Wrona, 61, Truck Driver

Died: November 27, 2017

Ms. Wrona, a truck driver at a hay farm, was pinned between hay bales and the back of a freight container being loaded.

https://www.legacy.com/obituaries/kvnews/obituary-print.aspx?n=cheryl-mae-wrona&pid=187632175

 

Thomas Phelps, 51, Truck Driver

Died: November 29, 2017

Mr. Phelps was employed by a compost business where he drove a truck. He died by suicide at his place of employment.

https://www.kitsapdailynews.com/obituaries/thomas-loren-phelps/

 

John Gonzalez, 54, Truck Driver

Died: December 18, 2017

Mr. Gonzalez was driving his semi-truck on an interstate highway when he lost control of his truck on a corner and crashed into a concrete pylon.

https://www.frymemorialchapel.com/tributes/John-Gonzalez

 

 

Please add your remembrances in the comments. We have tried to find obituaries or news articles for all, but if you know of any we missed please add those too.

Thank you to Randy Clark and the Washington State Fatality Assessment and Control Evaluation (FACE) Program for providing the data.

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In Memoriam

memoriam

Four truck drivers died while on the job in Washington State during 2015.

We at Keeptruckingsafe.org send our deepest condolences to the family and friends of the truckers we lost in 2015. We believe every worker deserves to go home safe each night.  It is always hard to find the right words to talk about losing members of our community. These men and women worked to provide for their families and transport the goods that keep America strong. We truly appreciate and respect the hard work trucking professionals do each day. We hope that by keeping safety as part of the daily conversation, we can contribute to the end of trucking-related deaths in Washington State.

Below we have listed each truck driver in order of date of death. If we could find an obituary, it is included. Please use the comments to pay your respects to these drivers or drivers you know that have died on the job.

Gone too soon are:

Joseph Haunreiter, 83, Log Truck Driver

Died: June 26, 2015

Mr. Haunreiter died when his log truck left a state highway and crashed.

http://www.cattermolefh.com/notices/Joseph-Haunreiter

Katherine Jones, 53, Truck Driver

Died: July 15, 2015

Ms. Jones was crossing an interstate highway on-foot attempting to assist the occupants of a vehicle involved in a crash, when she was stuck by a passing motor vehicle.

http://www.memorialobituaries.com/memorials/memorials.cgi?action=Obit&memid=215073&clientid=flint

Trevor Bennett, 22, Truck Driver

Died: August 18, 2015

Mr. Bennett died when his semi-truck left a roadway and crashed.

http://www.bruningfuneralhome.com/fh/obituaries/obituary.cfm?o_id=3283234&fh_id=13165

Ross Johnson, 56. Truck Driver

Died: October, 13, 2015

Mr. Johnson was walking across a truck yard at night when he was struck by a yard hostler.

 

Thank you to Randy Clark and the Washington State Fatality Assessment and Control Evaluation (FACE) Program for providing the data.

Our condolences to the family and friends of Kenneth Burch

By Jena Williams

It’s always sad to hear about the loss of another truck driver. Kenneth Burch was driving a semi-trailer on Interstate 90 when he died of a heart attack. He left the road and struck a private fence.  More information is in the news report: http://www.spokesman.com/stories/2015/aug/18/semi-driver-dies-interstate-90-west-spokane/

Mr. Burch’s obituary: http://www.hodgefuneralhome.com/tribute/details/498/Kenneth_Leslie_Burch/obituary.html

In Memoriam

By Jena Williams

iStock_000004490761XLarge

Each year, this is the hardest blog for me to write. Each year, I hope that there will be no fatalities and that I won’t have to write it at all. But sadly, this is not that year.

We lost 8 Washington State truck drivers in 2014. The youngest was only 31 years old with two young children at home. The oldest was just 61. After serving in the Navy, he went on to a 30 year career in truck driving. Two were colleagues that worked for the same company. The tragedy for that company is difficult to imagine.

Below we have listed each truck driver in order of date of death. If we could find an obituary, it is included as well. Please use the comments to remember these drivers or just to appreciate truck drivers. Their job is harder than most of us imagine.

Let’s all do what we can to keep our drivers safe and me from writing this blog next year. I know it’s possible.

 

Lonnie Olsen, 51, Truck Driver

Died: February 21, 2014

Mr. Olsen was outside his semi-trailer truck cranking up his landing gear on the trailer when the truck rolled backwards crushing him against another parked truck.

http://www.keeptruckingsafe.org/safetymaterials/901542014.pdf

 

Bruce Patnode, 53, Truck Driver

Died: May 28, 2014

Mr. Patnode and Mr. Peters (see below) were employees of the same construction company. Both were driving dump trucks on opposite sides of the road when one truck crossed over the center line, striking the other truck head-on.

http://www.yakimaherald.com/news/yhr/tuesday/2231305-13/bruce-william-patnode

 

Dale Peters, 45, Truck Driver

Died: May 28, 2014

Mr. Peters and Mr. Patnode (see above) were employees of the same construction company. Both were driving dump trucks on opposite sides of the road when one truck crossed over the center line, striking the other truck head-on.

http://www.dailysunnews.com/news/2014/jun/09/dale-e-peters/

 

Wayne Hostetler, 61, Truck Driver

Died: July 21, 2014

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

http://www.legacy.com/obituaries/peninsuladailynews/obituary-print.aspx?n=wayne-eldon-hostetler&pid=171985824

 

Conor Finnerty, 31, Truck Driver

Died: August 7, 2014

Mr. Finnerty died when he lost control of the dump truck he was driving on a curve in the road and the truck left the road, landing in a river.

http://www.legacy.com/obituaries/spokesman/obituary-print.aspx?n=conor-j-finnerty&pid=172219560

 

Craig LaMotte, 57, Truck Driver

Died: September 22, 2014

Mr. LaMotte was run over by his own dump trailer when he was outside of the truck as a bulldozer operator pushed the truck off a berm on which it was high centered.

http://www.weeksfuneralhomes.com/obituary/Craig-Vern-LaMotte/Enumclaw-WA/1425474

 

Daniel Higgenbottom, 53, Truck Driver

Died: December 22, 2014

Mr. Higgenbottom died when his truck left a state highway and struck a tree.

http://www.yakimaherald.com/news/latestlocalnews/2770143-8/gig-harbor-truck-driver-killed-on-us-97

 

Richard Rector, 56, Log Truck Driver

Died: December 30, 2014

Mr. Rector stepped out of his loaded logging truck to check his brakes. The brakes released and the truck rolled backward over him.

http://www.legacy.com/obituaries/peninsuladailynews/obituary.aspx?pid=173777574

 

Again, please share your appreciation for these and other drivers in the comments.

Link to our previous memorial blogs:

2013: http://www.keeptruckingsafeblog.org/2014/01/13/in-memoriam/

2012: http://www.keeptruckingsafeblog.org/2013/01/14/in-memoriam-2/

2011: http://www.keeptruckingsafeblog.org/2012/01/09/in-memoriam-3/

Thank you to Randy Clark and the Washington State Fatality Assessment and Control Evaluation (FACE) Program for providing the data.

How can it be? Another driver lost!

By Jena Williams

We just received a Washington State Patrol press memo that a 53-year-old truck driver from Gig Harbor, Washington has died when his Freightliner crashed into a tree. Again we don’t know all the specifics, but please be careful out there. Drive safe and wear your seatbelt. We want you all home safe.

UPDATE Link to story news article: TDN.com

 

We are so saddened to hear of the loss of a truck driver last night

By Jena Williams

A 58-year-old driver died at the scene on Snoqualmie Pass about 9 p.m. At this point we don’t know for sure what happened, but our thoughts go out to the family, friends and company of the driver.

Report from KOMO News: http://www.komonews.com/news/local/Truck-driver-killed-as-semi-overturns-on-Snoqualmie-Pass-286564521.html

Report from The News Tribune: http://www.thenewstribune.com/2014/12/22/3553926_semi-truck-driver-killed-in-snoqualmie.html?rh=1

A Washington truck driver died after crashing into Snake River

By Jena Williams

Washington has lost another truck driver. Our thoughts go out to the family, friends and colleagues of Conor Finnerty of Seattle.

More information about the crash is here: http://www.klewtv.com/news/local/270407811.html