TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Dec. 14, 2010) - Amidst the severe weather storm that left motorists stranded overnight on Highway 402, truck drivers emerged as heroes, eager to help their fellow motorists in need. While those stranded struggled to stay warm in freezing temperatures, truck drivers readily opened their cab doors, offering what they could to ensure their fellow motorists stayed warm through the night.
David Virgin, a driver of 40 years with D & J Transportation, was stranded on County Road 22 near Highway 402 in Lambton County since 11 a.m. on Monday, December 13th, 2010, along with approximately 100 trucks and other motor vehicles. Equipped with a heated sleeper cab and a full tank of gas, Virgin was quick to open his doors to a couple and their baby who were stranded behind him, to provide a warm, safe place to spend the night.
"I noticed a couple, along with their baby, behind me stranded in a car. I have a nice warm cab, so I invited them in to spend the night," explain Virgin. Virgin is still stopped on County Road 22 and expects to remain until tomorrow afternoon.
Truck drivers, particularly those driving trucks equipped with sleeper cabs, became essential resources as motorists ran out of fuel, water and food. Bill Justice, a driver with Trailwood, offered one of his heated bunks to a fellow driver to stay warm while the storm raged on. Likewise, Dan Moreland, a driver with Elgin Motor Freight, spend thirty hours stranded and invited a car motorist to spend the night in the warmth of his cab. Justice noted trucks along the highway were quick to do the same as a community of stranded motorists came together to help each other through the difficult night.
Jim Canod became stranded on Highway 402 at 9:30 a.m. on Monday, December 13th and was taken to a warming centre in Wyoming, Ontario this afternoon. A driver with Liberty Line Haul, Canod has said he has only seen one storm this severe in his 37 year driving. Canod pointed out that he when he was taken by rescue workers to Wyoming, he asked them to take car motorists first, as he was comfortable in his cab. Canod expects to spend tonight on the floor of the warming centre with about 100 others rescued from Highway 402.
The goodwill of Virgin, Justice, Canod, Moreland and other drivers like them helped avoid tragedy on Highway 402. Ontario Trucking Association commends these truck drivers for their efforts to keep other motorists on Ontario's highways safe, not just today but every day of the year.