Purolator Trucker Remains Critical After Being Rear-Ended by (allegedly) Impaired SUV Driver
March 11, 2015
March 11, 2015
I work with 200 other tractor trailer drivers at the Metro West facility in Etobicoke, Ont. After ten years you get to know one another and we watch as kids and grand kids get born, people get sick, people get well, relatives pass on; and we keep on trucking, signing cards and attending funerals when we have to. It’s a close-knit community with very little turnover and a tight working culture. These friends and colleagues share the bumps of life and we offer each other comfort when we can.
For the most part there’s nothing we can do about the pitches life throws you. But it is the injustice of some events, entirely preventable, that make me want to scream. Gino Racanelli is a big and solid guy, wavy silver hair, with a twinkle in his eye and a slight gap between his front teeth that give you the impression he’s always on the edge of telling a joke. The 52 year old has been with Purolator forever–since 1981. I believe he was one of the original Gelco drivers and was folded into Puro when they acquired the company in 1989.
On Wednesday Feb. 25 he was on his way to work at the Ontario Hub where his Ottawa shunt truck was waiting for him. It’s 5:30 am and Highway 7 is a little wet but there’s little traffic. In an instant everything changed. What we know is that he was rear ended by a suspected impaired driver, a 23 year old man in a Lexus SUV who was travelling at great speed (over 200 kph) and his mangled car was thrown around and ended up across the highway beside a ditch. The 23 year old was not hurt, as far as I know, but Gino suffered life-threatening back and head injuries. He’s been in a coma since the accident and his wife and daughters have been almost constantly at his side at Sunnybrook Hospital since he was taken there.
Fellow driver Greg Manchester has started a tilt.com fundraiser account to help the family with expenses. Parking alone at these hospitals is incredibly expensive. Please contribute if you can.
Harry Rudolfs has worked as a dishwasher, apprentice mechanic, editor, trucker, foreign correspondent and taxi driver. He's written hundreds of articles for North American and European journals and newspapers, including features for the Ottawa Citizen, Toronto Life and CBC radio.
With over 30 years experience in the trucking industry he's hauled cars, steel, lumber, chemicals, auto parts and general freight as well as B-trains. He holds an honours BA in creative writing and humanities, summa cum laude. All posts by Harry Rudolfs