Driver Posthumously Given Truck Hero Award
TORONTO, ON — “In trucking there’s a brotherhood. We share an identity. When we pull into a customer and see a long lineup of trucks, we look for one of ‘us’. When we pull into a truck stop we scan the parking lot for one of ‘us’. We meet thousands of trucks on the road every day, but we wave when we see one of ‘us’. As I pull into the yard tonight I’m one of the last trucks off the road. I see the empty parking spaces of the trucks. One isn’t coming home tonight. One of ‘us’ isn’t coming home tonight.”
Those are a few of many memorable words by truck driver John Irish, a friendly acquaintance of fellow trucker Lindsay Findlay.
Irish typed that entry into his Facebook page the night of Feb. 3, 2015. Just a few hours earlier, Findlay’s truck had crashed into a guardrail on Hwy. 401 near Whitby and flipped over on its side.
Findlay was cut-off by an impaired driver, but rather than ensure his own safety by slamming the full force of his truck into the reckless driver’s car, likely causing a chain reaction that would send both vehicles dangerously into traffic, the veteran Arnprior, ON trucker was able to limit the impact with quick maneuvering and responsive braking before eventually losing control and hitting the guardrail. He died at the scene.
For his heroic actions, Findlay was recognized posthumously at the Ontario Trucking Association’s (OTA) annual executive conference in downtown Toronto with the 2015 Bridgestone-OTA Truck Hero Award late last week.
Each year, OTA and Bridgestone Canada recognize a professional truck driver who has demonstrated courage, quick thinking and integrity in the face of an emergency. Findlay’s wife Sandy and his daughter accepted the award.
“We are very proud for what he did. We are proud he saved the other driver and possibly more drivers on the road that night,” said Sandy Findlay. “That was just his instinct to put people before himself.”
In the days after the crash Irish and dozens of other truck drivers rallied in the community of Arnprior to support the Findlay family, even organizing a massive truck convoy at his funeral, the lead truck carrying Lindsay’s casket to the church.
“I think he would have absolutely loved being sent off that way,” said his daughter, Brittany. “They all came together for him that day. It’s amazing that out of something so tragic could come something so beautiful.”
In presenting the award to the Lindsay family, Paul Dalcourt, national account executive, Bridgestone Canada, explained how the definition of a hero is “someone who sacrifices him or herself for the greater good.
“Lindsay and his family have certainly sacrificed a lot. This is the story of one truck driver who risked his life to put others before himself and his loving family who have since found inner strength from his heroic actions. We couldn’t be prouder to honor the Findlay family with this award.”
Watch the video about Lindsay Findlay’s heroic actions and how a community rallied to support his family.
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