Joy Wiebe, Haul Road Trucker

We are sad beyond words to learn of the death of Joy Wiebe.  She was a beautiful vibrant soul who brought cheer to the lives of many a trucker on the Dalton Highway.  Jack considered her a good friend, not just a fellow trucker.  Many an afternoon or evening was whiled away on the road in conversation about this or that, always a positive experience with Joy who improved the mood of each day and situation she was in.  Full of energy, always wanting to be a better person, the world lost an asset the day she died.

I was able to meet Joy in Coldfoot about 2 months ago.  I liked her immediately.  Her smile and attitude were kind and open.  She was a humble person, small of stature but strong and able and energetic.  She touched my life for only a couple of minutes yet I find myself crying for a person I barely knew.  Why Joy had to go and why her family has to now be overcome by grief and the question of how they can go on, we’ll never know.  We can only feel deep sadness and pain at a world without her.

Jack and I send our deepest sympathies to the family of Joy Wiebe.  We cannot imagine their grief.  We want them to know that this trucker, as well as so many others, thought the world of Joy.  She was a shining beam of light on a dark night, on the Haul Road.  She was a Joy.

Obituary

Anchorage Daily News Article





 

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Chucky’s Corner

Here’s two 2-minute clips of a section of the road that is about 130+ miles from Fairbanks.  At the beginning, Jack passes by Chucky’s Corner on the right.  Chucky was a trucker who lost his life on that corner and it’s memorialized with the name, and the cross.

White out & truck off the road

At some point every year white out conditions occur on the Dalton where you can see barely 20 feet in front of you.  Here are some photos from last year.  Someone went off the road and laid their truck over on its side.  Click on the first one and scroll to the right.

Lost load, an explosion box

Years ago Jack came across this load that fell off a truck north of Coldfoot.  Click on the first one and scroll to the right.  More info on the captions.

 

Load of pipe goes off the road

The drive line of this truck broke coming down 5 mile last summer.  Just like putting it in neutral, the motor didn’t help slow him down.  While trying to stop the truck going downhill the driver smoked his brakes, then coasted up 6 mile hill.  His brakes wouldn’t hold him when he coasted to a stop, they were too hot.  So then he rolled backwards into the ditch.  There’s more than accidents that go on up on the road but most of it isn’t exciting enough to post. 🙂

Click to enlarge.

 

Smashed truck!

Jack doesn’t remember much of a back story on this but it happened a few years ago and no one died.  It went off the road and rolled over.  Yikes!  (Click for a larger view.)

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Motor home goes off the road

Jack happened upon a motor home that got too close to the edge and got sucked into the soft shoulder on the Taylor Highway a few miles north of Chicken, Alaska.  In these photos Jack drives up to the gathering of vehicles with people who are there to get this problem taken care of.  The tow truck is there and they have already pulled the motor home so that it is perpendicular to the road so they can get it out.  The sad couple stands nearby; even if their insurance is paid up there was undoubtedly a loss of valuables and a sad ending to the trip they’ve planned for months.  Sadly, it’s not the first time it has happened and it won’t be the last. (Click on the first image and scroll to the right.)