Beloved Trucker of 20 Years Killed After Plunging From Overpass Along Pennsylvania Turnpike
Bristol Township, PA – An Ohio trucker suffered fatal injuries after his tractor-trailer plunged from an overpass last weekend along the Pennsylvania Turnpike.
According to Pennsylvania State Police investigators, 49-year-old Charles Edward Hopper Jr., of Girard, OH, perished early last Saturday morning in a single vehicle crash in Bristol Township.
Hopper was driving a yellow 2015 Freightliner — owned by Estes Express Lines — pulling tandem trailers and traveling eastbound, when at approximately 1:30 a.m., drifted into the guardrail leading to the overpass along the Turnpike.
Investigators said the big rig collided with, and then traveled against, the rail and an abutment, damaging the bridge, before the tractor and one trailer plummeted over the edge.
The truck and trailer fell 40 feet to the ground below, investigators said.
When emergency crews arrived to the crash site they found Hopper pinned within the wreckage.
He was later pronounced deceased at the scene.
Investigators have not yet indicated what is believed to have led to the fatal incident.
A GoFundMe campaign to contribute to Hopper’s “final expenses” has been launched by his niece, Chalsie.
According to Chalsie, Hopper went by “Uncle Eddie” and had been a professional trucker for 20 years and also spent time working as a driver trainer.
Chalsie said her uncle was known as a “friendly, kind, and and loving man” and was going to walk her down the aisle for her wedding next month.
“Uncle Eddie never had children but he was a father to his 2 nephews and myself,” she wrote.
Further, she said the family “urgently” needs funds to bring Hopper home for burial.
“Uncle Eddie is over 300 miles away from home since the accident was while he was on the job and it is going to take time and money to bring him back to us,” Chalsie wrote. “Before any services are provided for him money is due upfront and we do not have the funds to do it.”
So far, the campaign has raised more than $2,000.
Photo courtesy of Pendel Fire Company and family of Charles Hopper