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OTA’s driver of the year award goes to heroic trucker

TORONTO, Ont. -- Mervin "Merv" Connolly, an O/O with to L. E. Walker Transport Ltd. who has driven over five millio...


TORONTO, Ont. — Mervin “Merv” Connolly, an O/O with to L. E. Walker Transport Ltd. who has driven over five million collision free kilometres in 38 years, has been named the Ontario Trucking Association/Volvo Trucks Canada Driver of the Year for 2005. The award was presented at a luncheon at the annual OTA convention Nov. 17.

Each year the award goes to a professional transport driver who has a collision-free driving record and is an exemplary truck driver both on and off the road. Connolly, 55, regularly delivers freight from Ontario to the U.S. for St. Thomas, Ont.-based L.E. Walker. During the course of his driving career he has on more than one occasion lent a hand at roadside accident scenes.

In March, Connolly was awarded an Ontario Provincial Police Commissioner’s Citation for Lifesaving, for helping lift a vehicle off a trapped man and assisting a passenger who had been ejected from the vehicle following an accident along Hwy. 401 approaching Windsor Jan. 3.

“We at L. E. Walker Transport Ltd. are honoured to have Merv within our driver ranks”, said Julie Tanguay, president. “We are proud of all our drivers and extremely proud of Merv’s accomplishments. To have him receive the Ontario Trucking Association/Volvo Trucks Canada Driver of the Year award for 2005 is gratifying given our commitment to public safety. We thank him for his dedication to this industry and the public while on the road”.

“His performance on the highway has been outstanding,” said Bill Arthur, fleet manager for L.E. Walker. “His everyday performance while out on the highway sharing the road with the motoring public speaks for itself. Merv is the type of driver that all other drivers should be modeled after, and we at L.E. Walker Transport are very privileged and proud to be associated with Merv Connolly.”

“Mr. Connolly exemplifies the qualities of a professional truck driver both on and off the road,” said OTA president David Bradley. “It is a great honour to present him with this prestigious award in recognition of his achievement.”

Connolly has four daughters and three sons and lives in Dutton, Ont. with his wife, Donna.


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