This is a tough topic, but it is one that has been getting a lot of attention lately. Growing up in a house where for years dad packed a bag and hit the road, I know these men a women pound the pavement driving their lives away to make things better for themselves or their loved ones.
After this was published, I saw a guy just talking about what was in his head, which lead to others feeling it was ok to just open up and talk and more conversations starting. That is all it takes sometimes, start talking and just someone to listen.
Like always I want to thank our friends over at Transportation Nation for addressing this issue.
Miami Dade, Florida – The recent rash of trucker suicides continued this week as the trucking community lost a father and son within 24 hours of each other.
The first heartbreaking death came on Tuesday, July 23 when popular Instragram trucker, 26-year-old Andres Urgelles, was discovered deceased inside of his home in Miami, Florida.
According to the Miami Dade Medical Examiner’s Office, Urgelles’ cause of death was determined to be suicide.
Urgelles’ more than 11,000 Instagram followers were saddened to learn of the news in a post (partly in Spanish) which read:
This is one of the most painful goodbyes. We love you and we miss you. we hope your soul rests in peace.
Then another devastating blow came less than 24 hours later when Urgelles’ father, Andres Urgelles Sr., was reportedly found dead inside of his semi-truck at an Alabama truck stop.
Urgelles Sr. also reportedly took his life.
Transportation Nation Network (TNN) is continuing to learn more about the circumstances surrounding the two men’s deaths and will have more on this in the coming days.
However, this week’s tragic developments is once again sounding an alarm for many in the trucking community about the importance of mentally managing the challenges, stress, pressure, and anxiety a lifestyle in trucking presents.
Just in the last couple of months, TNN has reported on numerous other instances of truckers choosing to end it all or attempting to do so.
In May, Virginia State Police troopers were called to mile marker 91.7, near the Route 54 exit, of southbound I-95.
They found a Swift tractor-trailer parked on the right shoulder and the male driver dead inside.
The trucker, according to investigators, had taken his life.
In the same month, a truck driver died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head.
He was discovered at the rear of his cab in the early morning hours while at the Huntsman Corporation’s Port Neches, TX chemical plant.
A handgun was also found on the floor of the truck.
Earlier this month, a trucker was found hanging inside the cab of his truck in an apparent suicide attempt, according to Kentucky police.
The trucker’s son was reportedly traveling with his father and was the one who discovered him with a belt around his neck and hanging.
The son quickly called 9-1-1 and reportedly saved his father’s life.
Also this month, a “suicidal” trucker was engaged by police in a more than 18-hour standoff behind a truck stop in St. Ignace, Michigan.
According to authorities, the police received a call from a Florida woman who was distraught and claiming to be the trucker’s wife.
She said her husband was inside of his truck with a handgun and threatening to kill himself.
After a standoff that lasted throughout the night of July 16 and through the morning of July 17, the trucker finally surrendered peacefully around 2 p.m.
Undoubtedly these men were dealing with serious concerns away from their chosen career, but what is also certainly true is that the burdens of being a professional trucker can weigh heavily on one’s mind.
If you’re struggling with suicidal thoughts, the National Suicide Hotline is open 24/7.Call them at (800) 273-8255.
Your life matters.
As the general public we may not come into contact with drivers other than bombing past them on the highway. If you happen to pass one at a rest area , restaurant, or store a simple ” Hi, how are you?” could change their whole day. Or they just could be an asshole, in that case at least you tried.