The ominous e-mail arrived in my Inbox at 8:04 p.m. last Thursday. It read simply: “I saw this story on the Internet. Are there any other stories that Truck News has done on the topic of suicide by truck? I was the victim of such an act...
The ominous e-mail arrived in my Inbox at 8:04 p.m. last Thursday. It read simply: “I saw this story on the Internet. Are there any other stories that Truck News has done on the topic of suicide by truck? I was the victim of such an act on Good Friday in Oshawa.” It was from professional driver Adam Lowry, and he wasn’t a stranger. Adam was an active member on our CyberCB message boards before they became overrun by spammers and had to be shut down. I’d met him at Truck World a couple years ago and corresponded with him several times on various trucking issues. My heart sunk for Adam.
Adam did a search for information on truck-involved suicides and came across the article cited above, but little else had been written on the subject. Since his incident, which you can read about here, he has learned suicide by truck isn’t all that uncommon. He hoped that by talking to Truck News, he could raise some awareness about the profound impact these actions have on the driver involved. Also, he hoped that someone considering ending their life in such a manner may do an online search, as he did, and find an article that spoke to the lasting effect it would have on the drivers involved as well as first responders.
I did a lengthy interview with Adam on Friday afternoon and spent a good part of the weekend working on the article. Knowing what he was trying to accomplish by speaking to me, I wanted to ensure I did his story justice and sufficiently conveyed what he was going through without seeming exploitive or sensational.
I’m grateful that he was pleased with how the story turned out and I’m also heartened to see the comments that have been posted. (Adam said he was moved by the comments that showed readers cared). It goes to show that support is available and can come in many different forms. Through my years reporting on the trucking industry, I’ve talked to a number of people who’ve gone through what Adam experienced. The instructor who trained me how to drive truck when I was pursuing my Class 1 licence even had such an experience. He couldn’t return to nighttime or longhaul driving after his truck was driven into by a suicidal driver, and so he became an instructor. It forever changed the course of his life.
It was nice to hear that Celadon, the carrier Adam drove for, acted appropriately when they learned of the incident. They booked him a hotel room and sent someone to his house to bring him his belongings and also some support. They’ve told him to take as long as he needs to recover and promised him a new truck when he returns. Celadon, in the past, has been named one of the TCA’s Best Fleets to Drive For and they acted the part. I’d like to think any carrier would do the same but I’m sure some would display less empathy.
As described in the article, Adam has a goal to return to work following his daughter’s birthday on the May long weekend. I’m sure we’ll all be rooting for him and I hope I can report back with some positive news around that time.
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