How Did Ice Road Truckers Driver Darrell Ward Die?

The world of reality television was stunned when news broke of the untimely death of Darrell Ward, one of the beloved drivers from the popular show “Ice Road Truckers.” Known for his larger-than-life personality and fearless approach to the challenging world of ice road trucking, Ward's passing left fans mourning the loss of a television icon.

In this article, we'll explore the circumstances surrounding Darrell Ward's tragic death and reflect on his legacy as a key figure in the gripping world of ice-road trucking.

Who is Darrell Ward?

Darrell Ward was an American businessman. He was a reality television celebrity in the United States, born on August 13, 1964. From season six in 2012 until his death, he was a truck driver on Ice Road Truckers. He was originally from Deer Lodge, Montana.

From 2007 to 2017, the History Channel's “Ice Road Truckers” (“IRT”) series introduced audiences to a new breed of hero. The reality show followed the lives of long-haul truck drivers navigating the treacherous terrain of Canada's and Alaska's Arctic areas.

How did Darrell Ward die?

The premiere of the show was the highest-rated debut for an original program (according to The New York Times). “Ice Road Truckers” generated the two-season spinoff “IRT: Deadliest Road,” which aired from 2010 to 2011.

The show's actors, who spent two months of the year navigating frozen lakes to transport much-needed supplies to diamond mines, became unlikely celebrities. Fans grew emotionally immersed in the lives of the men and women who put their lives in danger by executing a profession that most Americans were unaware existed.

The New York Times' Virginia Heffernan, who drew parallels between the series and the Discovery Channel's “Deadliest Catch,” wrote in 2007, “Watching these guys, as tough and bedraggled as bears (one is called Polar Bear), make their runs, it's hard not to share in their cold, fatigue, and horrible highway hypnosis, that existential recognition behind the wheel late at night that the pull of sleep and the pull of death are the same.”

Darrell Ward stood out among the show's major characters. He joined the show in its sixth season and was expected to return in Season 11 when tragedy struck (via Deadline). So, what became of Darrell Ward?

How did Darrell Ward die?

“Ice Road Truckers” star Darrell Ward died in an aircraft crash in 2016 at the age of 52, according to Deadline. Ward was flying a single-engine Cessna 182 when it crashed and caught fire as he approached Rock Creek Airport near Missoula, Montana.

Ward was on his way to Montana to partake in another documentary-style series on the recovery of downed planes (via Deadline).

In a Facebook group dedicated to the fallen trucker, History posted a lengthy comment. In addition to providing followers with information about Ward's death, the network paid tribute to Ward, adding that what he “loved most were his family, including his kids and grandkids, and trucking.”

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Ward's charitable actions were highlighted in the post, which included a food drive for flood victims in Louisiana. Ward spent most of his leisure time fishing, hunting, and camping, according to the article. Ward, an “adrenaline junkie,” reportedly “aided local authorities in fighting forest fires.”

The network concluded the piece with Ward's motto, “ANY ROAD, ANY LOAD,” which “fits his personality perfectly.”

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