A Massachusetts truck driver said he was fired for giving Tampa, Florida, residents free plywood before Hurricane Irma made landfall.
According to WTVT, Tim McCrory said he picked up 15 pallets of plywood on Thursday while en route from South Carolina to a Home Depot in Zephyrhills, Florida. He said that he got a flat tire, which resulted in him waiting seven hours for a replacement.
The truck driver for Nashville-based Western Express said he arrived at his destination by Friday night. By then, the store had already shuttered the doors in preparation for the storm, according to the local station.
Speaking with Inside Edition, McCrory claimed the company told him to take the load to Atlanta, Georgia. He said he decided to take a nap before leaving, and woke up to an officer banging on his window at around 2 a.m. on Saturday.
The officers reportedly advised against trekking to Atlanta and mentioned that there were local residents who could use the plywood.
McCrory claimed that he and 20 officers handed out the plywood—free of charge—to residents. Police department employees are said to have reached out to citizens by phone.
“They said, ‘If you need plywood to board up your house, come and get it.’ It’s a small town and everybody knows everybody. They got the word out,” he said. “There was just a line of cars. The storm was coming and it was coming fast.
“Nobody took more than they needed. We protected about 150 houses.”
However, Western Express allegedly handed McCrory a pink slip after he informed bosses of what he did. He said the company claimed that the plywood wasn’t his to give away.
Statement – Western Express Did Not Fire Good Samaritan Driver Contrary to current headlines, Western Express did not…
According to the Tampa Bay Times, a homeowner who benefitted from McCrory’s kind act decided to try and repay him. On Tuesday, Tracy Dillon Drew started a GoFundMe to support the former truck driver. As of Friday afternoon, the closed fundraiser garnered more than $7,600 of its $2,000 goal.
“It was a very unique scene Saturday morning,” Drew told the local paper. “Knowing how he had helped us, I just felt like I had to do something to help him bridge financially.”
“It just goes to show you that when it really matters, people are willing to come together for the right cause.”
[Featured Image: GoFundMe/WTVT (screenshot)]