By Clarissa Kell-Holland, Land Line staff writer
Former Arrow Trucking driver Charles Abercrombie was more than 2,000 miles from home on Dec. 22, 2009. He received word from his dispatch manager that the company was shutting its doors, stranding him under a load in Bakersfield, CA.
Abercrombie, a 31-year trucking veteran, had worked for the Tulsa-based flatbed carrier for just over 14 months in their heavy haul division at the time of the company’s collapse. He said he was more fortunate than most who were stranded out on the road. He was able to hitch a ride with another trucker who was headed back toward his home state of Georgia.
On Monday, Dec. 13, nearly a year after Arrow Trucking’s abrupt closure, Abercrombie received a check for wages owed. U.S. Bankruptcy Court Judge Dana L. Rasure approved the amended interim distribution of nearly 550 priority wage claimants on Dec. 8.
“This check came at a good time,” he told Land Line on Wednesday, Dec. 15. “When I got it, I immediately cashed it because I am still a little bit leery of anything to do with that company (Arrow Trucking).
Former Arrow Trucking Driver Manager Donna Creekmore said that she received a check earlier this week, about two-thirds of what she was owed, which will help her stay afloat for a little while longer.
In the days and months after Arrow Trucking’s collapse, Donna Creekmore, a former driver manager with the company, worked tirelessly to get stranded drivers home. She admits that times have been tough since the 61-year-old company shut down. About a month ago, she lost her husband, Jim, who lost his battle with dementia.
“After Arrow (Trucking) collapsed, I couldn’t afford to pay for his medication anymore. Then we lost our house, just about everything in this mess,” Creekmore said. “But I am like a cat; I will land on my feet.”
She said Arrow Trucking bankruptcy trustee Patrick J. Malloy III and his staff did an excellent job of recovering assets on behalf of the former drivers and employees of Arrow Trucking. She said she was told the second round of checks will be mailed out sometime in the first quarter of 2011.
“This could have dragged on for years, but Malloy wrapped this up in a year,” Creekmore said.
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