DUNNVILLE, Ont. — The news that 35-year-old owner-operator Adam Goron had died in a collision shocked his friends and co-workers, but they gathered themselves to send him off with a special memorial convoy.
On Dec. 6, Goron died when his truck collided with the back of a slower moving semi merging onto Highway 401 near Tilbury, Ont. The impact of the collision dislodged a load of sheet-metal coils from his flatbed trailer and crushed the cab.
“I couldn’t believe it was Adam,” says co-worker and friend Ben Hamilton. “With the knowledge of trucking and professional attitude he had, I couldn’t believe it could be him.”
Although not a co-worker, Danny Daneluk was one of Goron’s friends and after hearing the news decided to take some time to try and process it.
“It hurt and it was a shock,” recalls Daneluk. “I didn’t go into work the next day and just stayed home to get my head straight. He was one of the best guys you could ever meet in your life and he made the best of any situation.”
“He was awesome,” he adds. “He would help you if you needed it at any time of day, and if he couldn’t, he would find someone else who could and help you out in some way.
“It’s hard to accept and still seems surreal. It can happen so easy; life is precious and you realize it with something like this.”
Daneluk and Goron had been working on and off together for 15 years, and first met on the job when they were both hauling scrap in Canfield, Ont. It was at the beginning of Goron’s trucking career which, his friend says, was a lifelong dream come true.
Growing up in the Canfield-Dunnville region of southern Ontario, Goron had always wanted to be a trucker.
“He was one of those guys always working on fixing something; working on cars and trucks,” says Hamilton. “He always dreamed of driving a truck.”
By the late-‘90s he was able to purchase a rig of his own and invested in a used truck. While he enjoyed the trucking part, Hamilton says he tried to stay in a 500-600 mile radius of his home because being with his wife Julie and two boys, Jacob and Kenneth, was also very important to him.
That first rig was still an important part of Goron’s life. Although he had purchased a newer 2005 tractor, he still kept his original truck parked at home.
“He loved that truck,” says Daneluk. “It didn’t even have plates and even though he wasn’t driving it, he couldn’t bring himself to sell it.”
In a final tribute to their friend, on Dec. 12 a group of truckers slapped some plates on Goron’s original truck and used it as the lead in a memorial convoy. About 40 trucks bobtailed west along Ontario’s Highway 3 for the short drive between Dunnville and Canfield.
The memorial convoy started in front of the funeral home and right from the beginning had quite a few spectators.
“People were coming out of their houses to see what was going on,” explains Hamilton. “Canfield is a town of about 500 people and when we arrived it seemed like half the town was out on their front lawns trying to figure out what was going on.”
A trucker Hamilton hired to drive one of his three trucks videotaped the whole event and even placed it on YouTube. It’s a seven-part series and runs about an hour, but it’s clear the convoy became a community event.
Apparently one of Goron’s favourite things to say was, “wowzers,” and according to Daneluk, the convoy would have been a “wowzers” moment for his friend.
“If he could’ve seen it he would have just sat and laughed, it was one of the craziest things to see,” he recalls. “It started on Broad Street and the OPP came and blocked it off ‘cause they’d never seen anything like it and then they blocked off the highway for our ride from Dunnville to Canfield. I’ve never seen anything like it. It was a very emotional day.”
Seems like a fitting tribute for a young trucker gone too soon.
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