Eye-Opening Perspectives for Heroic Hearts

Eye-Opening Perspectives for Heroic Hearts

Saturday, June 4, 2011


Alaska Truck Drivers Playing Russian Roulette

by Winsip Custer CPW News Service

Buford Bell did not expect to return to the United States from Iraq where he miraculously survived the explosion of his tanker truck.  "I thought I was a gonner, for sure," said Buford whose route was laid out by Blackwater Security through a mine field.  "Alaska would surely be safer than Iraq," said Bell.  "The only reason I'm here is 'cause that tanker was only a quarter full, but I understand that the insurance and government made good on a whole tanker's worth, so I didn't cost nobody nothin," said Bell who spent four month in rehab, but was otherwise unscathed.

Buford Bell's rig after incident.
That was four years before the incident last January half way between Dead Horse and Anchorage on America's most dangerous ice road highway.  "That SOB, Matt Mattigan, ran me off the road," said Bell.  "His Carlile rig pulled up next to mine and edged me over onto the thin ice.  I ain't never seen anything like it.  Truckers have always been friends out there on the open road and you just don't expect that kind of dad gummed mean maneuvering," said Bell.  

"Mr. Bell, ain't got no reason to complain," said Matthew "Mad Dog" Mattigan who found the incident causing him to lose a guest appearance on the new History Channel program Ice Road Truckers.  Mrs. Mattigan said that she is happy to be transferred to Houston.  "I've had enough of this freezing weather.  What does Matt think I am?  A polar bear?"

Matt and Bette Mattigan joined Matt's brother Jack "Polar Bear" Mattigan in Alaska in
1988 where Matt's brother owns Ice Road Big Rig Rescue and Recovery, Inc.  Ironically, Jack's company provided the only recovery service along this stretch of the treacherous Alaskan highway.

Mattigan denies
We asked Mr. Mattigan if he would be working for Carlile Transportation in Houston and whether Carlile is part of the Carlile Group. "Ain't none of your bees' wax," he said flipping his middle finger as he shoved his rig into gear and sped out of the Popeye's Chicken parking lot in Anchorage where the interview was conducted.
Buford Bell was philosophical about the loss of his truck and income.  "It's hard to
find a Good Samaritan this far north of the Equator, I guess," he said as he filled out an application as a deckhand on an Alaskan king crab fishing boat out of Dutch Harbor that is filmed in the Discovery Channel program Deadliest Catch.  Bell, who can't swim, said "that's probably a good thing since I hate the thought of freezing to death."

Carlile Transportion's website while making no reference to Carlile Group states clearly that ....
Our Houston, Texas Terminal is strategically located on the eastern side of the Houston industrial area and is easily accessed off of I-10 from Beltway 8 or the 610 Loop. The terminal is situated on 238 acres belonging to Halliburton Energy Services, Joe D. Hughes, and Kellogg Brown and Root Marine Division.

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