More than 3,000 truck drivers who were left jobless for the holidays after their company declared bankruptcy have turned to social media to ask for help or even provide assistance of their own, and some have even offered to drive stranded truckers hundreds of miles or buy plane and bus tickets.
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Indiana-based Celadon Group announced Monday the company had filed for bankruptcy and would shut down all operations, just days after two former officials were charged in a fraud scheme. It was the largest provider of international truckload services in North America.
The trucking company had faced significant costs related to a federal investigation and it must also deal with debt and “enormous challenges" in the industry, chief executive Paul Svindland had said. Earlier this year, Celadon agreed to pay $42.2 million to settle securities fraud allegations stemming from falsely reporting profits and assets.
“We have diligently explored all possible options to restructure Celadon and keep business operations ongoing," Svindland said. "However, a number of legacy and market headwinds made this impossible to achieve."
But the shutdown left drivers jobless and stranded. In some cases they were unable to use their fuel cards to fill up their trucks’ gas tanks to head home.
Drivers and other staff soon expressed concern or sought help from fellow truckers and members of the public through Facebook pages, such as one called “CELADON STRANDED DRIVERS ASSISTANCE AND JOBS.”
"They gave as (sic) 20 minutes to get out," a user by the name Michelle Sloan wrote on the group's page. She added hours later: "They just locked the doors."
Meanwhile, others began posting to the page offers to drive stranded truckers in need of assistance, pay for tickets home or announce job opportunities.
"I run between Jeffersonville, Seymour, and Indianapolis everyday (sic)," another Facebook user posted. "Will be more than happy to run to Louisville or Cincinnati to give someone a ride ... I will be more than happy to provide a couple meals and showers as well!!"
The good deeds extended beyond social media, with people also posting to the page stories of good Samaritans and fellow drivers helping each other.
"I just want to say thanks to the many people offering help to us it really means a lot even though some of us have made it home! It’s great to see the outpouring of help," according to another post. "Thank you Everyone."
The Associated Press contributed to this report.