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Five names added to White Hill Truck Drivers’ Memorial
Hundreds have gathered in Murray Bridge at the 2023 edition of an annual memorial service for truckies who have died, whether on the job or later in life.
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Five grieving families have added loved ones’ names to a truck drivers’ memorial at an annual service in Murray Bridge.
About 200 people gathered at the White Hill Truck Drivers’ Memorial, on Adelaide Road, on Saturday to remember drivers who have died.
Among those honoured during the ceremony was Adelaide’s Steven Dowell, who was killed in an accident last October.
Also added to the memorial wall were Kelvin “Twisty” Barr, Evan Gutschke, Walter Champion and Gil Gregor.
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Seventeen trucks paraded past as Saturday’s service began, air horns blaring, each bearing the name and face of another truckie lost to this world.
This year’s procession was smaller than usual, as many drivers were already busy across the Murraylands and Mallee bringing in the early grain harvest.
Lutheran pastor David Kuss prayed for blessings for the bereaved, and protection and strength for those still working on roads around Australia.
Families and friends lined up to place flowers and sprigs of rosemary on the wall.
Duplication of the Dukes Highway and Swanport Bridge would save lives, MP says
Another speaker at the service was state MP Adrian Pederick, who repeated long-unanswered calls for the duplication of the Dukes Highway and the Swanport Bridge.
Both projects would save lives, he said – not just truck drivers’ lives, but those of other motorists, too.
Fifteen fatal crashes were reported along the highway corridor between the Swanport Bridge and the Victorian border from 2015-19, according to the state Department for Infrastructure and Transport, and more have followed.
“I … salute our truck drivers, the men and women that carry this country,” Mr Pederick said.
“We cannot underestimate what freight companies – truck drivers – do to keep this country moving.”
Saturday’s service was the 10th edition of the annual event.
However, a truck show and family fun day which used to follow it was once again absent this year.
Organisers have not yet been able to bring it back since the COVID-19 pandemic.