Fiction

Truck Driver Ghost

By R. Patrick Murtha

I met a ghost in my big-rig truck called "Walker," of all things. Started when I was bringing 90,000 lbs of wet, split black oak from Burney, Northern California down Interstate-5 during a really bad bit of "tulle fog." I couldn't see 20 feet in front of me; all the same, the old timers were passing me doing 70 mph so I dared not slow down. I was just passing the junction of Interstate-505 when Walker suddenly appeared and said simply, "Crash ahead 500 yards, better shut it down." I put on the brakes and sure as sh_t, as I pulled to a stop, there were 20 cars and trucks in an awful mess...couldn't see anything till you were right on top of it. I got on the CB, called out a warning to the other south bounders and got out and helped folks however I could. I thanked an empty truck cab when I got back in.

The next time was when I was coming down the very dangerous coast Hiway 1 from Gualala...again, with another overloaded flatbed of tan oak headed for the Bay area. As I was approaching Jenner, coming through a particularly bad set of switch backs, Walker appeared and, over the Guns and Roses I used to keep me awake, said simply, "Landslide ahead around the next curve." Yep, sure was and I would have crashed into a huge boulder if it hadn't been for him. This time, I thanked him before getting out and putting out flares.

Great dude. He was about 50 years old, wearing work clothes; I never did question who he was or why he would "pop in" to warn me, but in nearly 500,000 miles of driving, I never had so much as a ticket let alone and wreck and he was responsible for a large part of my safe driving. I've investigated apparitions and ghosts for 25 years, both professionally and personally, (I possess the only B.A. degree ever awarded by an accredited college with a double major in Psychology and Parapsychology), so I tend to take these phenomena at face value and try not to question the ones that end up saving my life; whether they be hallucinatory clairvoyance/projection or something else altogether. Never questioned his origin or him....I simply made sure to thank him for his help. He showed up twice more before environmental regulation finally squeezed me out of the wholesale firewood business.

I'm always a little hinky about mixing ghost stories and driving for fear there's a Department of Motor Vehicle supervisor out there..you know?