Once again, people are turning towards social media in order to get their message across. This time in a powerful way to help save lives.
It all started last February when OTR driver Mark Williams went missing. Police told Williams’ wife to “wait it out awhile,” but as the days passed, and with no GPS unit on Williams’ truck to track him, the family turned towards other sources of help. That source was Kari Fisher.
Fisher, who ran a Facebook page called “Share the Road Page Discussion Group,” was contacted by one of Williams’ friends asking if she could help find him by posting information on her page. As the Examiner explains, “Before long, hundreds of drivers were sharing the information on Facebook with all of their contacts” and one driver was able to locate the missing truck, and unfortunately, Williams’ deceased body. 1
It was this event that prompted Fisher and Hal Kiah, also a driver, to start “The Missing Truck Driver Alert Network.” According to Fisher, “The ultimate goal of the Missing Driver Alert Network is to locate and return drivers reported missing to their family, without loss. While we realize that this may not always be the case, we will do our utmost to get the word out to everyone in the trucking community with that goal in mind. We will work with the law enforcement community and truck stops around the country in coordinating any search to achieve this goal.” 1
The network operates on many platforms, among these the Missing Truck Driver Alert Network website http://www.missingtruckdriver.com/, text alerts, and through Twitter (@MissingTrucker). But perhaps the most widely used/effective source of theirs is Facebook.
The Missing Truck Driver Alert Network’s Facebook page, which currently has over 2,000 likes, continuously posts information on missing drivers throughout the U.S.
As one commenter on BlogTalkRadio stated, “Many people are working behind the scenes in trucking social media to not only help our professional truck drivers, but the industry as a whole. The Missing Truck Driver Alert Network is another example of what can come from using the power of social media to help in such important matters as this.” 3
This month, Kari Fisher was awarded the 2012 Jason Rivenburg Making a Difference Award, “intended for individuals in trucking who are impacting the industry in positive ways.” 2
Do you believe that social media has become a more effective tool than means such as print in alerting/reuniting missing people? List your comments below.