The plight of a truck driver who says that he was fired for giving away a load of plywood to Hurricane Irma victims has gone viral — but that driver’s company says that he quit rather than being fired.
Trucker Says He Was Fired For Handing Out Plywood To Irma Victims
Last Friday, 27 year old Massachusetts-based Western Express truck driver Tim McCrory was delivering a load of 15 pallets of plywood from a location in South Carolina to a Home Depot location in Zephyrhills, Florida, when he got a flat tire. It took seven hours to get his truck back on the road after the flat.
Because of the delay caused by the flat tire, the Home Depot was closed up by the time McCrory arrived at 9 p.m. on Friday.
According to reports, a manager told McCrory that he’d have to wait until Tuesday to deliver his load. McCrory called his dispatcher, who directed him to take his load to Atlanta instead. Before setting off, McCrory says he decided to get some sleep.
Early Saturday morning, McCrory says that an police officer knocked on the door of his truck. McCrory reportedly explained his plan to head to Atlanta, but the officer told him it wasn’t a good idea.
According to several reports, this police officer was searching for plywood to secure his own home ahead of the hurricane after having spent hours helping others with hurricane prep.
It became clear to McCrory that the need for his load was urgent. Law enforcement spread the word that there was plywood available and in the early morning hours, residents lined up for plywood. McCrory says that he gave away enough material to protect 150 homes.
The value of the load of plywood is estimated at $12,000 — $20,000.
Trucking Company Says Driver Quit, Is Welcome To Come Back
McCrory told Inside Edition that he understood the potential ramifications of his actions: “I went into it knowing I was going to lose my job. Because I was giving away something that wasn’t mine. But the people in Florida needed it to protect their homes.”
According to McCrory, his supervisors informed him that they would have to let him go when he told them what happened to his load. A grateful resident who heard about McCrory’s story set up a GoFundMe page to help him until he could find another job.
Western Express has presented a different side of the story. Company CEO Paul Weick told Fox 13 News that McCrory was not fired but left the company of his own free will.
According to a report in WTSP, Weick wrote, “We understand what was probably going through his mind during these extraordinary circumstances, which is why we did not fire him, and have no plans to do so. Ideally, he would have let us know he was giving away the plywood, but we understand he was trying to do the right thing, and we’d welcome him back on our team. I’ve personally tried to contact him several times over the last few days, but have not been able to reach him.”
He also stated “I’m glad some people got some things that they needed, but at the same time, you can’t have anarchy in the country. You can’t have people giving away things that aren’t theirs.”
Western Express says that they’ll absorb the cost of the lost load and that they won’t investigate the incident further since McCrory is no longer with the company.