Tuesday, June 22, 2010

W.Va. truck drivers honored for skill, safety

Larry Gorby of Lake, Logan County, was named grand champion of the West Virginia Trucking Association's Truck Driving Championship.

Gorby is a professional driver for Con-way Freight in Belle. He took the top honor after competing in a variety of skill and safety tests.

Nearly 50 professional truck drivers representing more than a dozen West Virginia-based motor freight companies participated in the June 12 event in Charleston.

Also during the event, the West Virginia Trucking Association recognized drivers for their 2009 safety accomplishments. Edward Thommason of Culloden, a driver with Yellow Roadway Corp., was honored with the "2009 Driver of the Year Award."

Thommason has driven for 36 years, logged more than 3.9 million miles behind the wheel and hasn't had a chargeable accident in more than 28 years.

Clarence Jenkins Jr. of Winfield, who drives for UPS Freight, was honored with the "2009 State Police Safety Award." Jenkins has driven for 38 years and 3.8 million miles with no accidents.

James Flanagan of Nettie, a driver with Burns Motor Freight in Marlinton, received the "Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration Carrier of the Year Award." Flanagan has driven for 46 years and logged more than 3.4 million miles with only one non-traffic chargeable accident.

Other winners:

Billy Taylor of Boxley Trucking, "Rookie of the Year."
Larry Gorby, Con-way Freight, first place straight truck.
John Hodges, UPS Freight, first place three-axle tractor semi-trailer.
Jason Powell, Con-way Freight, first place four-axle tractor semi-trailer.
Desmond Simpkins, Supervalu, first place five-axle van.
Kenneth Grimmett, Con-way Freight, tank truck.
Paul Norman, Pitt Ohio Express, flatbed.
James May, FedEx Freight Inc., twin trailers.
Clarence Jenkins Jr., UPS Freight, sleeper berth.

UPS Freight was the team champion.

All first-place drivers will compete in the American Trucking Association's National Truck Driving Championship later this summer.

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