Darrell Ward, star of History Channel television show Ice Road Truckers, died in a plane crash on Sunday. He was 52.
According to a press release posted on his public Facebook page, Ward had been traveling to Missoula, Montana to begin work on a pilot episode of a new documentary series about the recovery of plane wreckage. Ward’s pilot, identified as Mark Melotz of Missoula, was also reportedly killed in the crash.
A spokesman for the Missoula County Sheriff’s Department told the Missoulian that something went “drastically wrong” as the pair’s Cessna 182-D attempted to land at the Rock Creek Airport south of Clinton.
The National Transportation Safety Board is investigating the accident.
“They things Darrell loved most were his family, including his kids and grand-kids & trucking [sic],” the press release stated. “Trucking has always been a large part of Darrell’s life; from running the harvest rigs with his grandparents and family, to driving trucks from Montana to Alaska and all roads in between. In his free time, you could usually find Darrell giving back to the community any chance he got, he had promoted the most recent food drive to help victims in the Louisiana Floods and was scheduled to appear as the grand marshal for the Truck Convoy for Special Olympics in Nova Scotia [sic].”
Ward starred in 48 episodes of the popular series Ice Road Truckers, which follows a group of long-haul truckers as they make often dangerous drives through Canada’s Northwest Territory.
According to the press release, Ward had just learned that the program had been renewed for an eleventh season, set to begin filming early next year.
“We are saddened by the tragic loss of Darrell Ward, a beloved member of the History family,” the History Channel said in a statement Monday morning. “He will be greatly missed and our thoughts are with his family during this difficult time.”
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