Helping a Georgia trucking family

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“If you are looking for something or someone to bless over the Christmas season, you may want to consider this family.” –Bill Vollenweider of the Detroiter Travel Center, Woodhaven, Mich.

The quote above began an email forwarded to us from Lisa Mullings of the National Association of Truck Stop Operators. The rest of its text told a tragic story, made more so given the time of year.

Dec. 9, in Tallapoosa, Ga., two-year-old Levi Robinson lost his life in a house fire. His grandfather, owner-operator Steve Robinson, was “filling his thermos with coffee” at the Detroiter, Vollenweider wrote, when a phone call came through with the news.

Levi RobinsonLevi Robinson

The call had come in from his son’s neighbor, and owner-operator Robinson took the news hard, according to Vollenweider. While “his daughter-in-law and three-year-old grandson escaped with minor injuries,” Vollenweider wrote, young Levi “was trapped in the home and died in the fire.”

The home itself was destroyed.

After spending time with Robinson in his grief, Vollenweider and others at the stop helped Robinson make flight arrangement direct to Atlanta, where he went, leaving his empty trailer in the Detroiter’s secure lot. It all happened fairly quickly, Vollenweider says, and later he felt compelled to do something more “for the driver and his son’s family.” Robinson’s son, Vollenweider adds, likewise works for him.

After speaking with the Tallapoosa fire investigator and others, he learned of the Robinson family’s effort to raise money to cover funeral and other expenses and urged those around the trucking community to consider helping out.

To end his note, Vollenweider wrote, “if you feel so inclined, please forward this email.”

Needless to say, you can count me in the inclined camp. Join me in wishing condolences to the Robinson family for Levi’s loss.