Ontario Truck Hero Named Canada’s Truck Driver of the Year for 2006

From Issue: 
Vol LI, No. 2, May 2007

Mervin “Merv” Connolly, an owner-operator contracted to L. E. Walker Transport Ltd. has been named the CTA/Volvo Trucks Canada National Driver of the Year for 2006. Mr. Connolly has driven over five million collision free kilometres in 39 years of commercial driving and has been recognized with an OPP award of lifesaving. A keepsake trophy and cash prize were presented at the 80th annual convention of the Ontario Trucking Association (Nov. 16 & 17, Toronto Congress Centre).

“It is a great honour to present Mr. Connolly with this prestigious award,” says David Bradley, CEO, Canadian Trucking Alliance. “He exemplifies the very best qualities of a professional truck driver.”

L E Walker Transport Ltd is honoured to have Merv within our driver ranks”, says Julie Tanguay, President. "To have Merv receive the Ontario Trucking Association/Volvo Trucks Canada Driver of the Year award for 2005 and now the CTA/Volvo Trucks Canada National Driver of the Year for 2006 is exciting and extremely gratifying given our commitment to public safety. We have a lot of wonderful drivers working for us and to be honest, they all do us proud each and every day. We thank Merv and all of our drivers for their dedication to this industry and the public while on the road."

Each year the award goes to a professional transport driver who has a collision-free driving record and is an exemplary truck driver both on and off the road. The recipient is selected by a panel of judges made up of representatives from the: Royal Canadian Mounted Police, Canada Safety Council, the Traffic Injury Research Foundation of Canada and the Canadian Trucking Alliance.

Mr. Connolly, 55, delivers freight from Ontario to the USA for L.E. Walker Transport Ltd. (based in St. Thomas, Ont.). During the course of his driving career he has on more than one occasion lent a hand at roadside accident scenes.

In March 2005 Mr. Connolly was awarded an Ontario Provincial Police Commissioner’s Citation for Lifesaving, for helping lift a vehicle off a trapped man and assisting a passenger who had been ejected from the vehicle following an accident along Hwy. 401 near Windsor earlier in the year.

Mr. Connolly has been around trucks all his life, he began his career working at his dad’s trucking company in London, Ontario. He resides with his wife Donna in Dutton, Ontario . The couple has seven adult children.