Lafarge driver killed in truck crash

Lafarge driver killed in truck crashFirst solo proved fatal (Edmonton, Canada) A cement truck driver killed Thursday near Gibbons was on his first day driving solo for his new employer when he died. Jerry Nockowsky, 39, died when his fully loaded LaFarge truck crashed off the bridge which carries Highway 825 over the Sturgeon River and landed upside down at the top of the north bank. “He only started with them on Monday,” said his sister Connie yesterday. “(Thursday) was his first day driving solo. “He’d been driving semis for a while, so we’re having a hard time figuring how this happened.” RCMP say Nockowsky survived the impact but died before paramedics arrived. STARS air ambulance was scrambled but turned back when it was realized it would not be needed. It took firefighters from Gibbons and Redwater more than an hour to cut the victim’s body from the mangled wreckage of the truck. The truck had been heading north on Highway 825 around 10:30 a.m. Thursday after collecting a load of concrete in Fort Saskatchewan. His sister said Nockowsky was a keen outdoorsman who lived on an acreage near Gibbons which he shared with his common-law wife. “He loved his acreage and his animals,” she said. “He had a couple of horses and dogs and cats.” He also had a basement full of stuffed animals. “Taxidermy was a big hobby of his,” said Connie. “He’d stuff the heads of the bucks he shot and things like that. Her brother also made sure he put aside a lot of time for family and friends. “He was a great brother,” she said. “He was a very sensitive and gentle man who was always there for his family. “Jerry had a lot of friends.” The crash remains under investigation. RCMP are sending the wreckage for a full mechanical examination in a bid to find out why it hit the bridge guard rail. PAUL COWAN, EDMONTON SUN

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