Ice Road Truckers fans took to social media on Monday to react to the sudden and shocking death of Darrell Ward. As of early Monday, the History Channel had yet to make a public announcement to address the loss of Ward, but Ice Road Truckers fans flocked to Ward’s social media pages on Sunday to find out if the rumors of his death were true. A post on Darrell Ward’s official Ice Road Truckers Facebook fan page did, in fact, confirm that Ward died over the weekend in a plane crash in Montana.
Bob Stanton and Bruce Lacasse from Chrome & Steel Radio, Inc. officially announced to Ice Road Truckers fans late on Sunday that Darrell Ward had passed. Stanton and Lacasse first posted on the Chrome & Steel Radio, Inc. Facebook fan page that a press release would be issued soon on Ward’s own Ice Road Truckers fan page, while asking readers to please respect Ward’s “family and friend’s at this time.” Ice Road Truckers fans waited anxiously for another two hours before Bruce Lacasse finally posted an update on the status of Ward following a plane crash at Rock Creek Airport on Sunday afternoon.
The small Cessna 182 that carried Darrell Ward and his co-pilot on Sunday crashed while attempting to land in Montana. Fox News reports that witnesses claim the Cessna stalled as it approached a private airstrip at Rock Creek Airport. Witnesses also said that the plane was unable to recover from the stall and crashed “on the shoulder of I-90 near the eastbound lanes.” Ice Road Truckers fans were reportedly watching and waiting for the plane to land around 3 p.m. on Sunday when it went down east of Rock Creek and south of the eastbound lanes on the shoulder of I-90 at mile marker 126 near Missoula, Montana.
According to KPAX out of Missoula and western Montana, both Darrell Ward and his co-pilot were declared dead at the scene of the plane crash. Ward, 52, was allegedly flying the single-engine Cessna, and he had just posted on his Facebook page that he was headed to Montana from the three-day Great American Trucking Show at the Dallas Convention Center in Dallas, Texas. Ward was supposed to begin filming a pilot episode in Missoula, Montana, for a new documentary that ironically involves the recovery of plane wrecks.
Rumors immediately began circulating on social media that Ice Road Truckers fan-favorite, Darrell Ward, never made it to Missoula on Sunday. Just a few minutes past 3 p.m. on Sunday afternoon, a fan commented on Ward’s official Ice Road Truckers Facebook fan page that “it has just been released that sadly Darrell Ward has passed away in a plane crash.” Fans of Ward and the long-running History Channel reality TV series, Ice Road Truckers, couldn’t believe the news and didn’t even really know if the rumors were true until good friend of Ward, Bruce Lacasse, confirmed the news of Ward’s death in a press release that was posted to Ward’s Facebook fan page.
“Press Release: 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 the investigation.”
Lacasse went on to let fans know that Monday’s episode of Chrome & Steele Radio, Inc. has been canceled as they mourn the loss of the “Montana Legend.” The crew at Chrome & Steele Radio is reportedly going through the many photos and videos of Darrell Ward’s last public appearance at the truck show in Dallas, and Ice Road Truckers fans are still shocked by the news that Ward is gone.
“RIP, Darrell. Thoughts and prayers to his family and friends. Ice Road Truckers won’t be the same without his dedication and adventurous spirit.”
“RIP Darrell, you were my favorite IRT, and I don’t see how the show will be the same.”
Some fans are even wondering if Darrell Ward’s death will be the end of Ice Road Truckers, saying they don’t know how the show can go on after this. In fact, Ward had just learned that he was invited back to Ice Road Truckers for the next season, which is due to start filming in winter of 2017. Fans are saying that the only way Ice Road Truckers can survive now is if they bring back another fan-favorite, Hugh Rowland, who appeared in Seasons 1-8.
Season 10 of Ice Road Truckers is still ongoing on the History Channel. Fans can watch Darrell Ward, along with driving partner, Lisa Kelly, finish out the current season of Ice Road Truckers for the next three weeks at 10 p.m. ET. The History Channel also finally released an official comment on the Ice Road Truckers Facebook fan page after several fans scolded the network for not posting something on the passing of Darrell Ward.
“We are saddened by the tragic loss of Darrell Ward, a beloved member of the HISTORY family. He will be greatly missed and our thoughts are with his family during this difficult time.”
[Image via Darrell Ward Ice Road Trucker/Facebook]