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Letter to the Editor

Business owner takes aim at trucking company for fiery crash

web posted April 13, 2007

Dear Editor.
In response to an editorial I was just made aware of concerning Ray Walker Trucking, I felt compelled to share our experiance with you.
Shortly after 7A.M. Tuesday March 27th, one of our employees was in a serious accident with one of their trucks. Our business is located on Highway 6 in the Red Bank area outside Lexington. 20 year old Justin Scurry left the shop on his way to a job when one of Ray Walker's tractor trailor trucks pulled out in front of him from the sand mines at the junction of highway 302 and 6 just 3 or 4 minutes from the shop. Just as mentioned in your editorial, there were two trucks leaving the mine together and the second driver carelessly tried to "make it" out in front of Justin to keep up with his fellow driver. Justin's truck slammed into the rig and wedged itself under the trailor. Justin's truck caught fire with him trapped inside and rescuers worked feverishly for the better part of an hour to extract him from the destroyed vehicle.
Today he lay heavily sedated in the trauma unit at The Burn Center in Augusta with severe burns to portions of his body and very well could lose the lower portion of his right leg due to the 4th degree burns sustained in the accident. The accident was investigated in depth by the Highway Patrol and Transport Police with the truck driver fully responsible for the tragedy that is now Justin's daily fight to recover from his injuries and hopefully someday return to the active young man we all know and love.
As of today, the trucking company has not even acknowleged his family, his extended family here at work, nor made any attempt to do so whatsoever. Just as in your July 30,2005 editorial we have a similar issue with these trucks. The sand mine has trucks in and out day and night with the majority of the rigs from out of town using the route in front of our shop to reach Interstate 20. Just as in the Merriweather community, here in Red Bank we share the same opinin of their drivers. Discuss this issue with anyone who travels this roadway, works or lives in this area and you will encounter story after story of careless and reckless driving on the part of trucks leaving and entering the mine. We have many experiances of our own from traveling through there in the early morning hours when trucks enter the highway in front us or other vehicles traveling past the mine. Talk to businesses around the mine and you hear stories of accidents and "near misses" on a rgular basis.
Back to the original question, does Ray Walker really care? Obviously not. How many close calls will they get before someone is killed? Visit Justin in Augusta and one look will make you want to take all measures to insure that no one else winds up in his condition due to the carelessness of the trucking company's drivers.
Alan Wilson,
Lexington, SC

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