Non-profit helps families of truckers affected by serious accidents
December 31, 2017 05:27 PM
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – Truck drivers spend hundreds of days a year on the road and away from family, even during the holiday season.
It's a job that comes with many understated risks, but a non-profit started by one of those truckers is doing its part to support those injured or even killed while driving a big rig.
That possibility is something Robert Palm of Albuquerque knows all too well. He's been a truck driver for 37 years.
"I'm one of those over-the-road guys where I go coast-to-coast and north-to-south," he said. "The freight has to continue to move."
For 300 days a year, he leaves his family, and knows every moment they are together could potentially be the last.
According to Palm, 850 truck drivers pass away in collisions every year. That's where Truckers Final Mile steps in.
The non-profit helps with the burden of bringing drivers home after serious accidents. While some trucking companies cover those costs, they're not required too – meaning some families get stuck with the bill.
"We've assisted 54 families this year," Palm said. "Of those, 32 had passed away out on the road, away from home."
The creation of Truckers Final Mile is a heartbreaking story. Palm's stepbrother, a truck driver himself, died on the job in 1996.
"That was tough," he said. "Very tough. We lost Joey and you to get up in the truck to retrieve his belongings, and you see what the end result is."
Just a year later, a horrific accident of his own motivated Palm to help out.
"The trucking industry as a whole is a brotherhood. It's one big family, and that's what we're doing: We're just helping our family out. Our brother, sister truckers out there on the road; if their family needs something, we want to be there for them," he said.
Palm added it can cost up to $4,400 to bring a killed or seriously injured truck driver home. If you'd like to donate to the non-profit, you can do so here.
Updated: December 31, 2017 05:27 PM
Created: December 31, 2017 04:20 PM
Copyright 2017 KOB-TV LLC, a Hubbard Broadcasting Company. All rights reserved