In Washington, D.C., a new Trump administration plan to relax safety rules for truck drivers has rekindled old heartaches for families across the country.
On a sunny Labor Day morning in Oklahoma, Linda Wilburn’s younger son, 19-year-old Orbie, hopped into his 1994 red Camaro and headed east from Weatherford on Interstate 40. The college freshman, excited about his new rental house, needed to collect more stuff from his parent’s place, 10 miles away.
At mile marker 87, he encountered a stall blocking both eastbound lanes. The young man slowed and stopped the Camaro. And then, on Sept. 2, 2002, Orbie DeWayne Wilburn was dead, smashed from behind by a big rig bearing down on him at high speed.
The 41-year-old truck driver from Kentucky, who also also died at the scene, had driven from Bakersfield, Calif. – nearly 1,300 miles away – to Oklahoma “without a rest break at all,” said Orbie’s mother.
Now the Wilburn family is steeling themselves for a new fight as the anniversary of Orbie’s death approaches. This week, the Trump administration formally proposed easing the rules over rest breaks truck drivers must take and giving them more flexibility over their on- and off-duty time. Read more.