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O/O of Year Finalist Dies in Tragic Accident

EDMONTON, Alta. - Edwin Kary and his wife Penny were hauling a load of rough one-by- fours on their way to visit their new granddaughter in Edmonton early Saturday, Oct. 18, when they were hit head on...


A HAPPY COUPLE: Edwin and Penny Kary were very much in love, say friends. They will be sorely missed by all who knew them.
A HAPPY COUPLE: Edwin and Penny Kary were very much in love, say friends. They will be sorely missed by all who knew them.

EDMONTON, Alta. – Edwin Kary and his wife Penny were hauling a load of rough one-by- fours on their way to visit their new granddaughter in Edmonton early Saturday, Oct. 18, when they were hit head on by an oncoming passenger car which crossed into their lane near Westlock, Alta.

Their truck rolled, landed cab side down in a ditch and burst into flame. The Karys were pronounced dead at the scene.

Edwin had just received news he was one of five finalists who received an Honourable Mention in the Owner/Operator of the Year Award, organized by Truck News and presented at the Expocam truck show in Montreal Oct. 25.

Kary was delighted when he received the letter from Truck News announcing the news, said former employer Alan Wardale, sales coordinator for Manning Diversified Forest Products Ltd. Wardale had written a letter of recommendation to the award’s panel of judges on Kary’s behalf.

Proud to be a finalist

“He was just so proud to receive the letter,” Wardale said. “He was talking about having it framed…None of this makes sense. Of all the guys this could happen to, Ed was just not a guy who was ever in a hurry.”

In fact, the accident was not at all Kary’s fault, confirmed Corp. Dave Hall, the RCMP collisions analyst called to the accident scene.

“It wasn’t their fault. A passenger car crossed into their lane and hit them head on, but to the left where the tire and rim and fender are, hit them hard enough to tear out the steering axle, rip open the saddle tank and take out the lead drive axle.

“The truck (a super B configuration) lost control, flipped and rolled across the highway and ended up lying across it diagonally with the tractor upside down in the ditch. Then the fuel caught fire.”

A passerby was able to pull a passenger, a young male who was already dead, from the car, but was unable to rescue the Karys before their tractor was consumed by flames.

The tragedy has had a profound affect on all who knew the Karys, said Wardale, adding about 500 people turned out for the funeral, held Thursday, Oct. 23 in their hometown of Manning, Alta.

Kary hauled for MFDP for approximately the last eight years.

“He was the greatest – we couldn’t replace him if we wanted to,” said Wardale.

“He was absolutely the quintessential truck driver, but he mixed everything well with his family and his community.

31 years trucking

“He spent a total of 31 years in the biz and as far as I know he would be smiling and happy to come to work every single day.”

Kary was also a devoted husband, said Wardale.

“Every morning he would pick up from our mill and drive through town, calling his wife on the way so she could step out of her office and meet him for coffee across the street before he headed south,” Wardale said.

“They married within three months of meeting each other and they were married for about 31 years.

“They had two daughters and then they had a grandchild and they were very happy.

“It just doesn’t make sense what happened to them.”

Edwin Kary was 62, his wife Penny was 52.


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