Dear editor,Seven years ago, my son, Stirty, decided to venture into the big world of business and independence and buy his own tractor. He had always been part of our family business and having not o...
Seven years ago, my son, Stirty, decided to venture into the big world of business and independence and buy his own tractor. He had always been part of our family business and having not only the mind to do it his way but also the ability, off he went.
His father and I both opposed it at first but as time went on we saw that it was a need he had to fill. We both prayed that the training he had been given growing up would be enough.
He was raised in a trucking environment that stressed safety, and we had faith in his ability but there are always the other factors. We often told him about the need for safety, not just for himself and his family but also for everyone he encounters out there in traffic.
Lately, I have spent more time travelling with him in his rig, and our short trip to Halifax on Nov. 15, turned out to be a memorable trip.
The trips I have taken with him have helped alleviate some of my major concerns. I was realizing that he was safe and that he was not alone – it made me realize that this industry is one big family on the road.
These truckers who are doing their jobs supporting their families at home are involved in another larger family out there along the way – their fellow operators.
When he had finished his drops in Halifax, he picked me up after a fruitful day of shopping and we headed home for Cape Breton.
As usual, we were going to meet up with Ernie, a friend of the family’s who is also a trucker, in Truro, and head home together. It was a beautiful clear night and all was calm. A few chats truck to truck on the radio, a few jokes and a few laughs.
With Ernie in his truck and Stirty and I in ours, chatting over the radios, the mood changed suddenly. A car pulled out to pass us in the outside lane when an oncoming van appeared. The car had misjudged the distance it had to pass the group and was face to face with the headlights of the oncoming vehicle.
Ernie, who had fallen a few vehicles behind us, backed off to allow distance to let the car in but it still proceeded to pass in the outside single lane. The van was now trying to get to the shoulder but the car kept coming. Stirty pulled to the right as much as he could to allow the vehicles to pass side by side but the car remained in the lane beside us.
It was very dark except for the lights of the stopped vehicles so I couldn’t see clearly but as I approached the site I realized the van was off the road but the driver was ok. He was having a conversation with Stirty and Ernie and the driver of the car, who stood in a trance. Stirty then put his hand on my shoulder and assured me that everyone was ok. He then motioned to look in the van and when I approached and looked in at what he was pointing at, two small children were sound sleep in the rear of the van.
Need I say more…the advice we had once given our son had come to fruition. The road was calm for the travellers who came after us, but much had happened. A near tragedy, a reality check for all of us and a mothers appreciation of her son becoming the man she had hoped he’d become.
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