UPDATE: Family Outraged Over Company's Response to Trucker's Death

3 years 2 months 9 hours ago July 30, 2013 Jul 30, 2013 Tuesday, July 30 2013 Tuesday, July 30, 2013 3:47:00 PM CDT in News
By: Alex Mallin, KOMU 8 Reporter

COLUMBIA - A Higbee family said it is outraged over the press release issued in response to the story over deceased trucker Raymond White. 

White died of a heart attack on July 14 in New Mexico while driving his truck for Southern Refrigerated Transport.

The family said Monday they received no help from the company when they reported White missing, and that the national group The Missing Trucker's Charity Alert Network led the charge in helping New Mexico State Troopers find White's body. 

After White's body was found at a rest stop, the family said SRT refused to transport his remains or his personal belongings without a cash payment on delivery, with a price tag the family couldn't afford. 

The family had to reach out to Trucker's Charity Inc., who networked via social media and its community of truckers to send White's cremated remains back to his family. 

Three trucks, 2,730 miles and 15 days later, Raymond finished his last ride home. He had been a truck driver for 20 years.

After more than two weeks of uncertainty, Raymond White's family and friends were relieved to see a semi-truck with his remains inside pulling into the Sam's Club parking lot.

"I didn't think it was ever gonna happen," said Raymond's sister, Denise Mathis.

The company then issued a statement in response to backlash from viewers over the story, but the family said at a memorial service for White on Tuesday they are not satisfied with the response. 

"I don't understand how they can say that 15 days to get your loved one home is the right thing to do," said White's girlfriend, Cathy Rossi. "I mean we are just having the service today, we just got Ray home yesterday. Everything's thrown together at the last minute and I'm outraged."

The press release said that White died on July 15, when he actually died on the 14. 

Rossi also said the family has been trying to contact SRT for several days but they have received no response, and they were unaware of the press release until KOMU 8 News contacted her about it. 

"I just don't think they respect the family at all," Rossi said. "Up to this point I don't feel like they have done right by Ray or the family in any way."

"Unfortunately it's a common situation," said Kerry Mullins, a secretary of the Trucker's Charity Inc. on Monday. "Companies are going to protect themselves and say it's the family's responsibility."

Mullins said he is reaching out to lawmakers through the Owner Operator Independent Driver's Association to push trucking companies to take a more active role in finding missing drivers and supporting the families who have lost loved ones.

"Events like these happen hundreds of times a year," Mullins said. "It's unfair for these families to have to go it on their own."

SRT Representative Lee Hills said the company had no further comment to add with its press release. 

Here is the statement released by SRT:

"We were saddened to learn of the passing of one of our company drivers, Raymond White on July 15, 2013. Mr. White died of natural causes, and while he had only been with the company for a few months, he was nonetheless a valuable member of our team, and we extend our sincerest condolences to his family. Unfortunately, there has been some misinformation and/or misunderstanding surrounding the protocol we follow when faced with the passing of an employee who is away from home. The rationale and guidelines we follow are important to understand and are consistently applied. Moreover, we believe they are founded on the principle of doing the right thing. But in a world complicated by legal intricacies and competing interests, doing the right thing becomes harder and harder to do. That said, in an effort to avoid the potential distraction that could result from communicating through various media outlets about the specifics involved in handling the loss of an employee, we choose instead to focus on the most important thing at this time....i.e. allowing the family and friends of our colleague to begin the healing process. Accordingly, we ask you to please join us in remembering the family and friends of Raymond White and to keep them in your thoughts and prayers during this difficult time."

Related Stories

More News

Grid
List
COLUMBIA – An annual University of Missouri Police Department report shows hate crimes on campus jumped more than 1,000 percent... More >>
1 hour ago September 29, 2016 Sep 29, 2016 Thursday, September 29 2016 Thursday, September 29, 2016 2:01:00 PM CDT in News
INDEPENDENCE (AP) — A 37-year-old Independence police officer faces charges accusing him of having sex with a 14-year-old girl. ... More >>
1 hour ago September 29, 2016 Sep 29, 2016 Thursday, September 29 2016 Thursday, September 29, 2016 1:56:00 PM CDT in News
KANSAS CITY (AP) — A judge has agreed to allow voters to consider spending money to expand Kansas City streetcar... More >>
2 hours ago September 29, 2016 Sep 29, 2016 Thursday, September 29 2016 Thursday, September 29, 2016 1:34:48 PM CDT in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — Washington University in St. Louis officials say the experience and national attention are benefits of hosting... More >>
2 hours ago September 29, 2016 Sep 29, 2016 Thursday, September 29 2016 Thursday, September 29, 2016 1:06:07 PM CDT in News
FAUCETT (AP) — Some seniors at a northwest Missouri high school will not be disciplined after making a "humorous" video... More >>
2 hours ago September 29, 2016 Sep 29, 2016 Thursday, September 29 2016 Thursday, September 29, 2016 1:02:09 PM CDT in News
KANSAS CITY (AP) — Clergy and social activists are joining a mother in demanding a federal investigation into a 2013... More >>
4 hours ago September 29, 2016 Sep 29, 2016 Thursday, September 29 2016 Thursday, September 29, 2016 11:29:01 AM CDT in News
MEXICO - A Mexico High School band director was arrested Wednesday on suspicion of sexual contact with a student. ... More >>
4 hours ago September 29, 2016 Sep 29, 2016 Thursday, September 29 2016 Thursday, September 29, 2016 11:03:00 AM CDT in News
COLUMBIA – A local event gave residents of Columbia and surrounding areas the chance to buy children’s items or sell... More >>
4 hours ago September 29, 2016 Sep 29, 2016 Thursday, September 29 2016 Thursday, September 29, 2016 10:45:00 AM CDT in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — A St. Louis man with a criminal history has been convicted in a string of armed... More >>
7 hours ago September 29, 2016 Sep 29, 2016 Thursday, September 29 2016 Thursday, September 29, 2016 8:14:00 AM CDT in News
INDEPENDENCE (AP) — An Independence man has been convicted in a deadly October 2014 shooting. The Kansas City... More >>
8 hours ago September 29, 2016 Sep 29, 2016 Thursday, September 29 2016 Thursday, September 29, 2016 7:00:00 AM CDT in News
CALLAWAY COUNTY- Deputies arrested a man for numerous felony drug charges Wednesday afternnon, the Callaway County Sheriff's Office said. ... More >>
15 hours ago September 29, 2016 Sep 29, 2016 Thursday, September 29 2016 Thursday, September 29, 2016 12:11:00 AM CDT in News
BOONE COUNTY - A hiker fell 30 feet down a 200 foot cliff Wednesday night at Devil's Backbone. The... More >>
17 hours ago September 28, 2016 Sep 28, 2016 Wednesday, September 28 2016 Wednesday, September 28, 2016 10:24:00 PM CDT in News
COLUMBIA - Following a racially charged incident on the University of Missouri campus on Tuesday night, the Legion of Black... More >>
18 hours ago September 28, 2016 Sep 28, 2016 Wednesday, September 28 2016 Wednesday, September 28, 2016 8:43:00 PM CDT in News
COLUMBIA - It's deer season, and MoDOT is reminding drivers to watch out for deer because they are on the... More >>
20 hours ago September 28, 2016 Sep 28, 2016 Wednesday, September 28 2016 Wednesday, September 28, 2016 7:17:00 PM CDT in News
COLUMBIA – Veterans in Columbia are getting an opportunity to learn about owning a business at the Boots to Business:... More >>
20 hours ago September 28, 2016 Sep 28, 2016 Wednesday, September 28 2016 Wednesday, September 28, 2016 6:41:00 PM CDT in News
CAPE GIRARDEAU (AP) — Police in the southeast Missouri town of Cape Girardeau are investigating the shooting death of a... More >>
21 hours ago September 28, 2016 Sep 28, 2016 Wednesday, September 28 2016 Wednesday, September 28, 2016 6:31:46 PM CDT in News
JEFFERSON CITY - Central Missouri Mothers Against Drunk Driving honored local police officers at an award ceremony Wednesday night. ... More >>
21 hours ago September 28, 2016 Sep 28, 2016 Wednesday, September 28 2016 Wednesday, September 28, 2016 6:20:00 PM CDT in News
ROCHEPORT- MoDOT will close one westbound lane of the Rocheport Bridge that carries I-70 over the Missouri River Thursday. ... More >>
21 hours ago September 28, 2016 Sep 28, 2016 Wednesday, September 28 2016 Wednesday, September 28, 2016 6:01:00 PM CDT in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 76°
4pm 74°
5pm 73°
6pm 71°
7pm 67°

Select a station to view its upcoming schedule:

Coming Up Next

3:00p
Dr. Phil
4:00p
Jeopardy!
4:30p
Jeopardy!
3:00p
The Robert Irvine Show
4:00p
Cops Reloaded
4:30p
The Cleveland Show

Tonight's Schedule

7:00p
Superstore
7:30p
The Good Place
8:00p
Chicago Med
9:00p
The Blacklist
7:00p
The Flash
8:00p
Supernatural
9:00p
KOMU 8 News @ Nine on The CW
9:30p
Seinfeld