Anyone who knew Greg Bell knew his passion for driving big rigs was second to none.
“You’d think Greg was born behind the wheel,” Bell’s mother, Roxy Bell, said in an interview Saturday morning.
Bell started moving cars around the yard when he was seven years old, she said, adding his older brother Keith wasn’t far behind.
“When he was older, his father would come home and blow the horn, and Greg would hop in the pickup and head down to check the lights and fuel the truck up to let dad come in for supper,” Roxy said.
So it was no surprise when Bell, 57, became a truck driver and eventually went on to own and operate his own business, Greg Bell Transport.
But on May 19, Bell’s career was cut short when he was pinned between a truck and a trailer while on the job in Exhibition Park in Goodwood. He died on-site.
The truck involved in the incident has been taken out of service as the Labour Department investigates Bell’s death.
His death has shocked his family and friends, who said the Hatchet Lake man prioritized safety.
“When he was little, he would always make sure the garage doors were locked,” Roxy Bell said. “He was very conscientious of everything, so it’s hard to come to terms with.”
Sandy Fraser said his best friend “didn’t cut corners when it came to safety.”
“Greg was very passionate in what he did and he took pride not only in his equipment, but how he worked,” Fraser told The Chronicle Herald Saturday.
“People don’t expect their husband, their wife, their brother, their child to die at work,” Fraser said. “I loved him like I loved a member of my family. I lost a brother.”
Fraser met Bell about 30 years ago through the trucking industry.
At the time, Bell was driving older trucks to get by. In the early 2000s, he bought his first brand new truck.
“He was one proud man,” Fraser said. “He had on the back of it, ‘Turn the page,’ because to him he had just turned the page in his career and he was so proud of that.”
But the trucking industry isn’t easy for an independent guy to survive in, said Fraser, who stopped driving trucks in 2010.
“I always took pride and thought I was a professional, but I have no problem saying I was second to Greg Bell. There’s nobody better at what he done,” Fraser said.
Bell wasn’t only dedicated to his career, but also his family and friends.
Tanya Bell said her brother treated his niece and nephew “as though they were his own.”
“If I needed anything, he was there and that never wavered,” Fraser said.
“If Greg liked you, he would do anything, and I mean anything, in the world for you.”
When Bell wasn’t hard at work, he enjoyed travelling to warmer climates or riding his motorcycle. He also found joy in simpler things, like watching deer on the lawn or bunnies hopping across the field.
Bell always had a story and provided a laugh wherever he went. Fraser chuckled when asked about his favourite memories with Bell.
"Let's just say, we used to ride motorcycles together and we could get stuck anywhere in North America and there were always a couple of drinks and some laughs," he said.
"There was nothing fake about Greg Bell. He was a very genuine person."
Roxy Bell said many people have called her since Bell's death and shared stories about him with her.
"They thought a lot of him. He will be missed by his family and a lot of other people," she said.
A celebration of Bell’s life is to be held at a later date due to COVID-19 restrictions.