The St. Louis Post Dispatch reported early Saturday morning that a truck driver crashed into the Schneider National facility in Edwardsville, IL igniting a fire. The condition of the trucker and the specifics of the crash were not immediately known. As it turns out, the crash was only part of a sequence of events that ended tragically when the trucker took his own life.
On Sunday morning, the St. Louis Post Dispatch reported the tragic details leading up to the death of the trucker. At approximately 2:00 am Saturday morning, Roger W. Adams, 52, of Alton, IL intentionally rammed a company truck into the loading dock at the Schneider National facility in Edwardsville, IL. Earlier in the day, Mr. Adams attempted to set his home in Alton on fire; however, the fire died out without destroying the home or any surrounding property.
After ramming a truck into the loading dock, Mr. Adams attempted to set fire to the Schneider offices and facilities and then engaged law enforcement and negotiators in a 10 hour stand-off.
Mr. Adams was employed by Schneider as a company driver. During the stand-off, he reportedly told negotiators of many personal, financial and work-related problems. Mr. Adams had recently been injured while driving for Schneider and had been off work for about 4 weeks.
At about 11:50 am on Saturday, police fired tear gas into the area where Mr. Adams was located, in an attempt to get him to surrender peacefully. Mr. Adams then told the negotiators he would kill himself and shot himself in the head. He was taken to Saint Louis University Hospital where he was pronounced dead.
Mr. Adams had no criminal record. He was described by neighbors and others that knew him as a good neighbor and “not a bad guy”.
We don’t know exactly what caused Mr. Adams to snap and take his own life. We don’t know if Mr. Adam’s work injury was the cause of his dispute with Schneider and we don’t know if the time off work contributed to the financial problems he discussed with negotiators. Nonetheless, this unfortunate event serves as a reminder of the extreme physical, emotional, and financial stress that hurt truckers experience.
When a truck driver is hurt and cannot work, the loss of income often causes financial hardship, or makes existing financial hardship more extreme. The stress caused by these financial problems when added to the physical and emotional strain caused by a serious injury can be devastating.
Let’s always remember the hardships faced by hurt truckers and support them however we can.