Truckers organize a convoy to honor Larry Atha

Published: Aug. 29, 2022 at 5:08 PM EDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

BRIDGEPORT, W.Va (WDTV) - 39 trucks lined up at the Bridgeport Home Depot and drove their way through the city, honking their horns and paying their respects to Larry Atha.

Atha, former president of Atha Trucking, died in a semi-truck accident on I-79 earlier this month.

Dustin Lowdermilk, a trucker with Gas Transport, organized this convoy on Facebook, and was proud to see so many people come together and show their support.

“This is just what truck drivers do for each other,” said Lowdermilk. “Larry drove trucks all of his adult life. This is just what we do for each other. He was a great guy, and this is how we show our respect.”

Atha was known as a legend in the local trucking community.

“One of the first people I ever drove trucks for, like a lot of the guys here,” said Mike Starkey Jr., a trucker with iLease. “Almost everybody you see here today probably got their start with Larry.”

The convoy started after Atha’s funeral service.

People lined up along the street to watch and pay their respects.

The trucks passed the funeral home and ended their drive at Atha trucking, where the family and employees received a series of honks.

Starkey said he is proud so many people attended.

“The turnout today shows me that people still respected Larry, and they still hold respect for what they were taught, and for what he meant in the trucking community,” Starkey said.

Atha was also known for his sense of humor.

The truckers said they think he’d be appreciative of everyone coming together to honor him, but that he’d say they should have been somewhere else.

“He’d probably think we should all be at work,” said Duane Woodyard, a trucker with Gibson Transport.

“Actually, being that it’s on a Monday, he’d probably tell us we should be at work. But he’d appreciate it, I’m sure,” said Lowdermilk.

After reaching the end of the route, Lowdermilk picked up his radio and said, “God bless you Mr. Atha. It was a pleasure knowing you. We’ll take it from here.”