All Jerry Matson needed was a spot in the vast parking lot of Oakland’s O.co Coliseum, where he would wait for the consignee to accept a generator he was delivering to power the television broadcast of an upcoming football game.
But he was advised to find a secluded location nearby and, about 10 p.m. on Dec. 15, the driver’s side window of his International ProStar was shattered. An assailant reached in and shot Matson with a .45-caliber pistol. Hit in the stomach, the 72-year-old ex-Marine managed to call 911 and hold on long enough for paramedics to arrive.
But his troubles were only beginning.
Our friends at Land Line magazine have the details of the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Assn. (OOIDA) lifetime member’s ordeal, but the gist is this:
The Matson family has set up a GoFundMe account to raise money for his treatment and recovery.
“After several hours of surgery that night to repair the damage, my Dad has had two other surgeries due to complications. We live in Indiana, this happened in California. My Mom has been out there with him since,” daughter Christy Matson pleads on the fundraising site. “Please help no matter how small to ease the financial pressure this is causing my parents as rehabilitation will be needed once he is released and we still have to get them back home.”
I’ve checked with OOIDA and this is a legitimate effort in response to a “tragic deal.” I see it as an opportunity not only to help one of our own, but to help all truckers by showcasing the need for more and safer truck parking—to say nothing of the importance of getting better cooperation from shippers and receivers.
Of course, this won’t be the last such incident; but it’s another reminder that we must do something to get the attention of the non-trucking public and policy makers.