FORT ERIE, Ont. — The trucking community is continuing to mourn the loss of Tony and Jane Schertzing, as well as Mike Anderson, who died in a tragic plane crash Aug. 15.
Funerals for the owners and manager (Anderson) of the Fort Erie Truck and Travel Plaza were extremely well attended, according to local newspapers.
The funerals were held Tuesday in Fort Erie (for truck stop manager and Fort Erie town councillor Mike Anderson) and Thursday in Port Colborne (for Tony and Jane Schertzing).
More than 600 attended the Anderson funeral in Fort Erie, according to local newspapers, and about 700 attended the Schertzing funeral in Port Colborne, according to the Weeland Tribune.
Bob Lodge who owns the 730 Truck Stop in Cardinal, Ont. was one of the last people to see the Schertzings and Mr. Anderson, prior to the fatal small plane accident that killed the three and critically injured the Schertzing’s daughter Tara at an air strip near Brockville.
The Schertzings and Anderson had flown down to attend a truck drivers’ appreciation day in Cardinal. They were flying out in a six-seat Piper Cherokee planed piloted by Tony, when the accident happened.
Lodge said he rushed to the scene of the accident as soon as he heard news of the crash. “It was my driver I had drop them off who saw it and called me,” he said.
“It was horrible. I saw the plane hit the trees and I knew it wasn’t good. Then there was a loud crash,” said William Murdock, who witnessed the accident.
Tara Schertzing, 24, is still recovering in hospital, and should be there for another six months, said Lodge. But she managed to attend her parents’ funeral nevertheless, he said. “It was really important to her to be there.”
Meanwhile, the Schertzings and Mr. Anderson are being mourned by their truck stop partner Alfred Beam, who says the remaining partners are scrambling to deal with their loss.
“We’re trying to pick up the slack,” said Beam. “They are sorely missed.”
Beam said if he could speak to the Schertzings and to Anderson he’d tell them “You did a great job and we’re taking care of everything the way you’d want it.”
After reading about the accident in Truck News, reader Bill Sinden a Safety/Compliance Coordinator for Bruce R. Smith Ltd. In Mississauga, Ont. wrote in the following: “I was fortunate enough to have met and spoken to Mike (Anderson), on several occasions. He was a true professional, in every aspect, in the performance of his duties at the Fort Erie Truck Plaza. The deaths of Mr. & Mrs. Schertzing and Mike is a great loss to their families and Fort Erie community.”
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