Accident claims life of top show truck competitor

| 5/23/2007

Charlene and Leonard Testerman
(Photo by Suzanne Stempinski)

A trucker well known for consistently winning show trophies with his dark red and black extended-hood Peterbilt, “Rollin’ Thunder,” died in a non-highway accident in Maryland on Friday, May 18.

OOIDA member Leonard Testerman, 48, died from injuries he sustained while working on the construction of a shed at his home in Frederick, MD. The equipment he was operating overturned and severed an artery in his leg. According to local news reports, he was operating a Lull Highlander forklift.

Testerman was flown by a Maryland State Police helicopter to R. Adams Cowley Shock Trauma Center in Baltimore, where police said he died from his injuries.

Testerman began trucking in 1976 when he graduated high school, first driving a dump truck and then climbing into the cab of his dad’s 1972 cabover KW, running locally and eventually long haul.

He married Charlene Braun in 1985 and they began trucking together full-time. Based out of Frederick, MD, they ran together hauling freight around all 48 states, always looking at trucking as a way to make a pretty good living, but also enjoying it in the process.

They have been leased to Mercer Transportation since 1991.

Their stunning work/show truck brought home paychecks and many truck show honors. They rebuilt “Rollin’ Thunder” side by side and did all the maintenance and repairs on the truck themselves. They were partners in life, love, marriage and trucking for 22 years.

Funeral services were Tuesday, May 22, at the Locust Grove Church of the Brethren in Mount Airy, MD. He was buried in the church cemetery.

Besides his wife, Charlene, and mother, Ethel Mae Testerman, survivors include his daughter, Heather Thompson and her husband Russell; his grandson, Tristan Thompson; a brother and three sisters.

– By Land Line staff