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

5 years 4 months 1 week ago Tuesday, July 30 2013 Jul 30, 2013 Tuesday, July 30, 2013 3:47:00 PM CDT July 30, 2013 in News
By: Alex Mallin, KOMU 8 Reporter
loading

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 - Those struggling to afford holiday gifts for their loved ones may still have options. Registration ends today for... More >>
5 hours ago Monday, December 10 2018 Dec 10, 2018 Monday, December 10, 2018 3:27:53 AM CST December 10, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - Columbia firefighters responded to a fire at Columbia Crossing Apartments on Towne Drive late Sunday night. Division... More >>
9 hours ago Sunday, December 09 2018 Dec 9, 2018 Sunday, December 09, 2018 11:30:00 PM CST December 09, 2018 in News
(CNN) -- Treacherous driving conditions and canceled flights could keep residents stuck at home for days as a nasty mix... More >>
14 hours ago Sunday, December 09 2018 Dec 9, 2018 Sunday, December 09, 2018 6:25:00 PM CST December 09, 2018 in News
OSAGE BEACH – A dog groomer in Osage Beach has made it a mission to train service dogs after she... More >>
19 hours ago Sunday, December 09 2018 Dec 9, 2018 Sunday, December 09, 2018 2:08:00 PM CST December 09, 2018 in News
KANSAS CITY (AP) — University of Missouri faculty members are raising concerns that the system's move to offer buyouts to... More >>
21 hours ago Sunday, December 09 2018 Dec 9, 2018 Sunday, December 09, 2018 11:47:00 AM CST December 09, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - Officers with the Columbia Police Department responded to a shots fired call inside the Steak ‘n Shake on... More >>
22 hours ago Sunday, December 09 2018 Dec 9, 2018 Sunday, December 09, 2018 10:38:00 AM CST December 09, 2018 in News
JAMESTOWN - Grace United Methodist Church held its seasonal music recital on Sunday featuring a 117-year-old historic church organ. ... More >>
23 hours ago Sunday, December 09 2018 Dec 9, 2018 Sunday, December 09, 2018 9:58:00 AM CST December 09, 2018 in News
FULTON - Fulton police officers responded to the Fulton Medical Center regarding a possible assault early Sunday morning. According... More >>
1 day ago Sunday, December 09 2018 Dec 9, 2018 Sunday, December 09, 2018 9:00:00 AM CST December 09, 2018 in News
CALLAWAY COUNTY - A Kansas City woman was arrested Saturday and charged with multiple felony counts of possession of a... More >>
1 day ago Sunday, December 09 2018 Dec 9, 2018 Sunday, December 09, 2018 7:30:00 AM CST December 09, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - All weekend the Central Missouri Humane Society is encouraging people to come adopt animals. The humane society has... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, December 08 2018 Dec 8, 2018 Saturday, December 08, 2018 9:35:00 PM CST December 08, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - The Down Syndrome Guild of Central Missouri had its first learning seminar in Columbia on Saturday. The seminar... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, December 08 2018 Dec 8, 2018 Saturday, December 08, 2018 9:33:00 PM CST December 08, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - The Columbia teen who was killed in a crash Saturday morning was a senior at Christian Fellowship School,... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, December 08 2018 Dec 8, 2018 Saturday, December 08, 2018 8:55:00 PM CST December 08, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - Karis Church in northwest Columbia held its third annual Affordable Christmas event early Saturday morning. This is... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, December 08 2018 Dec 8, 2018 Saturday, December 08, 2018 6:40:00 PM CST December 08, 2018 in News
(CNN) -- White House chief of staff John Kelly will be leaving his position at the end of the year,... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, December 08 2018 Dec 8, 2018 Saturday, December 08, 2018 2:56:00 PM CST December 08, 2018 in News
CAMDEN COUNTY - A Camden County Sheriff's deputy was involved in a car crash Friday on Route MM near Villages... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, December 08 2018 Dec 8, 2018 Saturday, December 08, 2018 2:47:00 PM CST December 08, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - Only one person was injured after two overnight fires kept fire crews busy into the weekend. ... More >>
2 days ago Saturday, December 08 2018 Dec 8, 2018 Saturday, December 08, 2018 8:33:00 AM CST December 08, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - Runners and walkers dressed up in holiday wear for the annual Jingle Bell Run in Columbia on Saturday,... More >>
2 days ago Saturday, December 08 2018 Dec 8, 2018 Saturday, December 08, 2018 7:43:00 AM CST December 08, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - A formerly homeless veteran is helping other vets expand their horizons by cycling. Tyler Kempker leads a... More >>
2 days ago Friday, December 07 2018 Dec 7, 2018 Friday, December 07, 2018 8:53:00 PM CST December 07, 2018 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 25°
10am 27°
11am 30°
12pm 32°
1pm 35°