Trucker Found Dead at Shipper After Missing Pick Up Time, Coroner Raises Questions
Hillsboro, KS – A California trucker was discovered dead in his truck over 24 hours after he missed his pick-up time at a Kansas shipper.
According to the Marion County Record, Joseph Gruba was discovered just before 11:45 a.m. on Wednesday, August 5 in the parking lot of Barkman Honey, located at 120 Santa Fe Street in Hillsboro.
Hillsboro’s Chief of Police Dan Kinning said it appeared as though Gruba suffered a heart attack as he was backing up his truck to pick up a trailer.
“We could tell by his tracks,” Kinning stated. “Luckily, he was between gears in neutral when he died. If he was in gear and the brakes weren’t set, that thing would have just rolled until it hit something.”
Authorities said they were told by Gruba’s family the man had not been feeling well in the days preceding his death.
“He had some other medical complications,” Kinning said, thought he did not specify what those complications were.
Coroner Don Hodson told the Record he was surprised Gruba had been “cleared” to drive a truck.
“They do have a pretty stringent medical policy for commercial truck drivers now,” Hodson said.
However, he did not expand on why he believed Gruba was not fit to operate a commercial motor vehicle.
According the Kinning, Gruba was scheduled to be at Barkman Honey “early in the morning” on August 4.
“We know he was there at 6 o’clock that evening because the truck was seen sitting there,” he said.
However, Kinning said “nobody thought twice” about “a truck sitting there in a lot full of trucks.”
Photo courtesy of Google Maps