According to KPAX Channel 8 in Missoula, Montana, two people were killed on Sunday afternoon when a Cessna 182 was making an approach to a private airstrip near Rock Creek and crashed into the shoulder of I-90 near the eastbound lanes. Word quickly spread that Darrell Ward from Ice Road Truckers was one of the plane’s occupants.
Fans have been flocking to Darrell Ward’s Facebook page expressing their shock and condolences upon learning of the accident. A press release was just posted to his page by a Bruce Lacasse, verifying that it was indeed Darrell Ward and his co-pilot who tragically lost their lives in the airplane crash.
“It’s with great sadness to report we have lost our Montana Legend at the young age of 52. Darrell Ward had just left The Great American Truck Show in Dallas, Texas where he enjoyed meeting numerous fans and friends and was heading to Missoula to begin filming a pilot for his new documentary style show involving the recovery of plane wrecks when he and his co-pilot crashed and lost their lives. An investigation is ongoing and more information will be made available at a later time as the National Transportation Safety Board will be handling they investigation.”
The press release goes on to say that the things Darrell Ward loved the most were his family, including his kids, grand-kids, and trucking. Having just finished filming for this season of Ice Road Truckers, he had just discovered that he had a green light to do another season for the popular series, which is set to begin filming in the winter of 2017. When not filming the show, he enjoyed hauling logs and helping fight forest fires when the need arose for his assistance.
The cause of the wreck remains under investigation, and Missoula County Sheriff’s Deputy Ryan Dunster said that the plane was making an approach when the accident occurred. Witnesses who were watching and waiting for the airplane to land stated that the aircraft went into a stall as it pulled up, and unfortunately the pilot wasn’t able to regain control.
One lane of the interstate near mile marker 126 remains closed, and deputies are guarding the crash site. The National Transportation Safety Board officials will be arriving from Seattle sometime on Monday morning to conduct their investigation.
The 10th season of Ice Road Truckers returned on August 4, featuring Darrell and his trucking partner, Lisa Kelly. Darrell was equally fearless on the road and the ice, and made quite a name for himself over the seasons that he has appeared on Ice Road Truckers. On the show, Darrell Ward was always one to stop and help a fellow trucker in need, even when they happened to work for rival company Polar Industries.
First appearing on Ice Road Truckers during the show’s sixth season, Darrell Ward came to Alaska from Montana and began driving for Carlile Transport. At that time, he already had over 31 years of highway trucking experience. Like fellow trucker Todd Dewey, Darrell even had experience driving logging trucks in the Rocky Mountains. During the eighth season of Ice Road Truckers Darrell hired his son, Reno, to come work with him.
Recently, Darrell was part of the effort to bring supplies into areas of Louisiana that were devastated by flooding. Darrell Ward loved to give back to the community, and he posted to his Facebook page a video of a truck being loaded with water and diapers and added a comment stating that, “This is how we Roll in the Trucking Industry.” According to the press release, he was instrumental in promoting the most recent food drive to help the victims affected by the flooding in Louisiana.
Are you a fan of Ice Road Truckers and team Darrell? Leave your comments, thoughts, and condolences below. If you’d like to watch Darrell and the rest of the truckers, Ice Road Truckers airs on Thursdays at 10 p.m. ET on the History channel.
[Image via History Channel]