Ontario Trucking Association

Ontario Trucking Association

November 17, 2005 13:00 ET

Mervin Connolly Has Driven Over Five Million Collision Free kms; 2005 Ontario Truck Driver of Year Goes to Highway Hero

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(CCNMatthews - Nov. 17, 2005) - Mervin "Merv" Connolly, an owner-operator contracted 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. A keepsake trophy, cash prize and a trip to the OTA convention were all part of the award presented to Mr. Connolly in Toronto 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. This year's award was presented at a luncheon on Thursday, Nov. 17 at the 2005 Ontario Trucking Association Convention (Nov. 17-18, Toronto Congress Centre, 650 Dixon Rd.)

Mr. Connolly, 55, regularly delivers freight from Ontario to the USA for L.E. Walker Transport Ltd. (based in St. Thomas, Ont.). During the course of his driving career he has on more than one occasion lent a hand at roadside accident scenes.

In March of this year 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, 2005.

"We at L. E. Walker Transport Ltd. are honoured to have Merv within our driver ranks", says 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," says Bill Arthur, fleet manager for L.E. Walker Transport Ltd. "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," says OTA President David Bradley. "It is a great honour to present him with this prestigious award in recognition of his achievement."

In addition to his impressive safety record, Mr. Connolly is a family man, with four daughters and three sons.

Mr. Connolly lives in Dutton, Ontario with his wife Donna.

This year's selection committee was made up of representatives from: Transportation Health and Safety Association of Ontario, Ontario Trucking Association and the OTA Safety Council.

The Ontario Trucking Association (OTA) is a business association representing motor carriers operating into, out of and within Ontario. The trucking industry is one of Ontario's largest employers. Trucks haul 90% of all consumer products and foodstuffs produced and consumed in the province and 80% of Ontario's trade with the United States. Founded in 1926, the association's membership comprises trucking companies of all sizes, shipping all types of commodities, from all regions of North America. OTA is a member of the Canadian Trucking Alliance. The Globe & Mail has stated that "OTA and CTA have been among the most successful lobbyists in the land."

Ontario Trucking Association
555 Dixon Road
Toronto, Ontario
M9W 1H8

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