Another Truck Driver Robbed, Another Reminder Why Parking Issue Must Be Solvedby Jana Ritter - Published: 11/27/2015
The lack of parking space for truck drivers has been a major safety concern for years now, although it seems little has been done to actually solve the problem. Earlier this week, yet another truck driver found his very life in danger when he had pulled over to sleep and two people targeted his lone truck and robbed him at knifepoint.
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The incident occurred on Monday morning around 2 a.m. in the 3200 block of West Chain of Rocks Road in Granite City, Illinois. According to police, the truck driver said he had pulled over to rest and had fallen asleep when he suddenly awoke to a knock on his cab door. Whether he was groggy or simply fooled by their approach, the truck driver opened his door to a male and female who pushed their way into the cab, demanding money. The truck driver refused to give up his money and the suspects responded by threatening him with a knife. Still the truck driver refused and the two suspects physically attacked him until he finally handed over his money. The suspects then fled the scene in a maroon Ford minivan and the truck driver immediately called 911.
Fortunately the truck driver only suffered minor injuries from the attack and just over a few hours after the Illinois State Police broadcast an emergency message about the incident, a Madison Police officer spotted a van matching the description. He pulled the vehicle over and found the two occupants also matched the description of the suspects, so he immediately took them into custody. The suspects were identified as 44-year-old Darline Coleman and 49-year-old Leroy Pryor, a couple that reportedly recently got engaged. Pryor was charged with aggravated robbery for threatening to use a risky weapon during the course of the robbery and Coleman is charged with armed robbery for possessing the knife during the incident. Her bond is set at $300,000.
In August, the Department of Transportation announced the results of the "Jason's Law truck parking survey", which indicated that nearly half of the state departments of transportation reported that the lack of safe parking is forcing truckers to park in locations that jeopardize their own safety as well as the safety of others. Since then the DOT has begun to take more action appointing a new agency, the National Truck Parking Coalition, to find solutions to this nation-wide concern. Earlier this month the coalition held its first roundtable meeting with participants that include industry, state, and local representatives, representatives from the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO), the Commercial Motor Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA), the American Trucking Associations (ATA), the Owner Operator Independent Drivers Association (OOIDA), and the National Association of Truck Stop Owners and Operators (NATSO). Hope Rivenburg, is also a major figure in the coalition as she has been fighting for improved parking safety and the implementation of "Jason's Law" after her husband, Jason Rivenburg, was killed when he parked his truck in the lot of a shuttered gas station.