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jeremy thomasJeremy Thomas
Professional truck driver Jeremy Thomas, a driver for FedEx Freight, was named Grand Champion of the West Virginia Trucking Association’s 62nd Annual Truck Driving Championship, held Saturday, June 9th, in Nitro, association representatives announced. 

Thomas, who has been a professional truck driver for 13 years, took the top honor after competing in a variety of skill and safety tests. He has competed in two WV Truck Driving Championships, earning "Rookie of the Year" in 2017. 

Traci Nelson, President of the West Virginia Trucking Association, said, "The purpose of the Truck Driving Championship is to give trucking professionals the opportunity to test their driving and safety skills against their West Virginia peers. The competition mirrors what professional truck drivers must do day-in and day-out to maintain safety records unmatched by any other segment of the driving public."

In addition to the driving competition, which included 32 professional truck drivers representing multiple West Virginia-based motor freight companies, the association recognized drivers for their 2017 safety accomplishments during an awards ceremony Saturday evening. 

Nelson said Keith Miller of Marlinton, WV, who drives for Burns Motor Freight, was honored with the WV Professional Driver of the Year Award. Miller has driven over 2.5 million miles in his 39-year career with no accidents. 

Harold Saunders
 who works for Walmart Transportation and is a Huntington resident, was honored with the State Police Safety Award. Saunders has driven more than 4 million miles in his 44-year career with no accidents. 

Bruce Chapman a driver with Walmart Transportation and a Huntington resident, earned the West Virginia Public Service Commission Driver of the Year Award. Chapman has driven for 40 years and has logged over 2.5 million miles with no accidents. 

Other winners include:

  • First Place Straight Truck – Charles Randolph, Belle, WV, Pitt Ohio, 
  • First Place 3-Axle Tractor Semi-trailer – James May, Sitka, KY, FedEx Freight
  • First Place 4-Axle Tractor Semi-trailer – Randy Thomas, Cross Lanes, WV, FedEx Freight
  • First Place 5-Axle Van – Jason Smith, Valley Bend, WV, Walmart Transportation
  • First Place Tank Truck – Jeremy Thomas, Cross Lanes, WV, FedEx Freight
  • First Place Flatbed – Paul Norman, Tad, WV, Pitt Ohio
  • First Place Twin Trailers – Greg Brooks, Huntington, WV; FedEx Freight
  • First Place Sleeper Berth – William Adkins, South Point, OH, FedEx Freight
  • First Place Step Van – Neil Austen, Beckley, WV, FedEx Ground
  • Pre-Trip Inspection Award – Charles Randolph, Belle, WV, Pitt Ohio
  • Rookie of the Year: Neil Austen, Beckley, WV, FedEx Ground
  • Team Champion Award: Pitt Ohio

All first-place drivers will compete in the American Trucking Associations’ National Truck Driving Championship – also known as the Super Bowl of Safety – taking place in Columbus, OH August 15-18.

WVTA Members Receive a 2.7% discount
West Virginia Trucking Association members receive a 2.7% discount

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