Tuesday, October 16, 2007

The nameless

It seems like anytime there is a horrific wreck in the news you read about the young couple with small children who died. You read how their family and friends are devastated. Their lives and accomplishments are recounted.

You read all of this, unless, it is a trucker who is killed.

Mainstream media coverage often falls short of telling the story consistently. Reporters forget fathers, sons, mothers and daughters pilot those rigs. They forget that these people have family and friends who will mourn their loss – just as the young family does.

The wreck in the I-5 tunnel is a great example of what I’m talking about. The wreckage burned for days in the tunnel before any truckers received a mention in the news. There were 31 trucks and one car involved in the wreck. Guess who got the media coverage, the driver of the car.

The I-35 bridge collapse was the same way. TV helicopter crews circled for days showing a burning truck on the bridge rubble – the driver dead inside. Yet, who did the reporters interview. Family members and friends of those who died while driving their cars.

I find it disgusting that truckers are doomed to performing a job without thanks and dying a death without so much as acknowledgement.

I want to think the reason behind all of this is something simple, just an oversight. But, my gut tells me that it’s just not true.

When a trucker causes a wreck, he or she is tried and convicted in the mainstream media before ever seeing the light of a courtroom. If the trucker is the victim, it’s almost as if, “well, good thing no one else was killed.”

While it could seem small in comparison to the blatant ignorance of the mainstream, there’s not a time that your brothers and sisters on the road, your families, your friends and those of us cheering you along all the way, don’t find ourselves grieving the loss of another trucker on the road.