“Cowboy” Trucker’s Legacy Of Love For Family And Trucking Will Live On, Family Says
Gaston, North Carolina – 67-year-old truck driver Robert Pane Hale, a.k.a. “Cowboy,” was shot and killed last Monday night in the parking lot of a fast food restaurant in Gaston, NC, but family members say his legacy will never be forgotten.
Hale, a trucker of 45 years, was gunned down while unloading items from his car into a big rig at approximately 11:30 p.m. in the parking lot of a Hardee’s restaurant in Gaston, police said.
After hearing a gunshot, officers hurried to the scene and found Hale’s body laying on the ground between his personal vehicle and a tractor-trailer owned by Wilson, NC-based Barnes Transportation.
Hale’s family was shocked and devastated by the news, according to Hale’s nephew, Antonio Hale.
He spoke with Transportation Nation Network (TNN) and said that though his uncle is gone, his legacy will live on through those whose lives were touched by him.
“He was a staple of the community,” Antonio said. “Everyone knew him!”
Antonio said that in addition to having one son and three daughters, Hale also played the role of a father figure in his life and for two of his cousins.
He told TNN that Hale’s trucking career began in 1974 when he went to work for Youngblood Trucking.
Hale loved being a trucker, according to Antonio.
“He instilled hard work and a love for trucking in us,” Antonio fondly recalled.
A memorial service for family and friends was held in Hale’s honor on Saturday.
“He is greatly missed already,” Antonio told TNN.
Authorities remain focused on bringing the person responsible for this crime to justice.
No one has been arrested and law enforcement is not revealing much about what they know and don’t know at this time.
Preliminary reports seemed to rule out robbery as a possible motive, but TNN can confirm robbery has not yet been ruled out as a possible motive.
Chris Henry, a Barnes Transportation representative, would not comment on the ongoing investigation this week, but did say, “Our hearts go out to the family and all involved.”
TNN will continue to bring you updates on this developing situation.