Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Rick’s last ride

Over the Memorial weekend, many truckers were watching Facebook, tracking OOIDA Member Ralph Acocella’s route as he took home the cremated remains of his good friend, OOIDA Member Rick Rogers.

Rick did his part to improve the image of trucking as a Trucker Buddy Ambassador and by participating in the World’s Largest Truck Convoy for Special Olympics and the Make-A-Wish convoys. He was also a founding member of Trucker Charity Inc.

Many of Rick’s friends said he died doing what he loved – driving truck. He was trucking near Lake City, FL, on May 19 when his truck left the road, hit trees and an embankment, then caught fire. Both he and his dog, Emma, were killed in the crash. Ralph said Emma’s cremated remains will be returned to Rick’s family soon.

With a lot of help from Ralph’s carrier, Cargo Transporters Inc., Ralph ultimately made three trips to Florida before picking up Rick’s ashes on May 28. Since then, Ralph has been posting regular updates of Rick’s last ride on his Facebook page.

Their journey concluded June 1 when Ralph delivered the ashes to Rick’s mother, Karen Rogers, in Menasha, WI. She gave Ralph a hand-made card and a photo of Rick in appreciation for bringing her son home.

Ralph was honored to make this trip for his friend and said, “Rick would have done it for me.”