Natural causes given as reason for trucker's death

| 12/14/2005

Marcy Eubanks knew something was wrong. She and her trucking husband, Terry, had a deal. He would call every day from the road just to check in. Maybe it was just a few words, but it was his promise to just keep in touch.

“I’m alive, I’m breathin’ – Call you later,” he’d say if he was real busy or in traffic.

Terry, 47, of Conway , AR , failed to call his wife back Friday, Dec. 9, and she began to worry. When she spoke to him on Thursday night, he was headed to Indiana to pick up a load and he wasn’t feeling well. She talked to him on Friday and he cut the conversation short. He had arrived in Alexandria , IN , and was ready to pick up, but he told her he “felt strange” and wanted to lie down in the sleeper for a bit. He hung up.

She tried to call him later and when he didn’t answer, she tried again. And again. She began a long vigil of calling him, calling his company, calling police, calling hospitals in Indiana . She dialed his cell phone every half hour for four days.

“I can’t get the right people to take this seriously,” she told Land Line on Monday, Dec. 12. “He told me he would be home Sunday for his daughter’s Christmas program. He would never just not call. I’m going crazy.”

Her vigil ended Tuesday, Dec. 13, when authorities in Indiana notified her they had found her husband. The news was not what Marcy and her family had prayed for during those days he was missing.

Terry was found dead in the sleeper of his truck at a Petro Truck Stop in Gaston , IN – just 11 miles from where he’d picked up his final load on Friday. According to the coroner’s report, it was a brain aneurism that killed him late Friday night, just a few hours after he’d spoken to his wife about not feeling well.

“There was no foul play whatsoever,” Scott Hahn, a coroner for the Delaware County Sheriff’s Office in Indiana who examined Terry told Land Line. “He was in the truck, laying back in the sleeper portion, and it looks like he just went to sleep back there.”

During the four long days following his disappearance, people both known and unknown to Terry came together like the pieces of a puzzle to help find him. Sometimes, this just created even more confusion.

Reports were coming in from throughout the Midwest from people who claimed they’d seen Terry or his truck. One report claimed an employee at a truck stop in Effingham , IL had spotted his Peterbilt. Another claimed a man by the name of “T. Eubanks” had checked out of a hospital somewhere in Indiana . Unfortunately, neither report was true.

One of the most nagging rumors arose after Marcy contacted Terry’s cell phone company, who claimed her husband’s phone had been used from a location about an hour west of Indianapolis – more than 100 miles off route.

Investigators aren’t sure why the phone company’s system gave that location, but they’re pretty sure Terry was most likely never off his route.

“There was a phone in the truck,” Hahn said. “I don’t know if that was the only phone, but the way it looks to us, we’re [satisfied] with it being ruled a natural death.”

Services for Terry Eubanks are planned for 3 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 17, at Beryl Baptist Church in Vilonia , AR.

– By Aaron Ladage, staff writer and Sandi Soendker, managing editor