‘Ice Road Truckers’: The Tragic Story of Darrell Ward’s 2016 Death

by Maria Hartfield

Fans of History Channel’s Ice Road Truckers reality series turned warriors of the road into movie stars. The long-running TV show ran for 11 seasons from 2007 to 2017. It follows the lives of long-haul truck drivers as they push through hazardous terrain from Canada to Alaska and beyond.

According to The New York Times, the show premiered as one of the highest-rated debuts for an original program. Following Ice Road Truckers came the spinoff IRT: Deadliest Road. IRT: Deadliest Road ran for two seasons from 2010 to 2011.

Stars on the show risked their lives to deliver essential supplies to diamond mines. Fans of the show become easily attached to the drivers as they witness their struggle to do a job that most don’t even know about.

Over 10 seasons, drivers fight for their lives against unforgiving storms and below-freezing temperatures while creating enemies on the job. Not to mention the extremely deadly ice thoroughfare’s that have really tested their fate.

And of course, they’ve confronted the deadly ice crossings that have tested their ability to survive. Fast forward to now, and Ice Road Truckers has reached a tipping point. Now in its 10th season, the series may have finally met its match due to the increase in global warming coupled with El Niño. These two things together are creating a winter like none other before.

Ice Road Truckers Castmember Darrell Ward

Ice Road Truckers feature cast member Darrell Ward on Season 6 in 2012. He became one of the series most notable personalities. Ward was all set to continue into Season 11, however, unfortunately, he never made it to the final season. So, the question is, whatever happened to Darrell Ward?

The Ice Road Trucks star sadly passed away at the age of 52. He died in a plane crash in 2016, Deadline reported. At the time, Ward was testing a single-engine Cessna 182 that ended up catching fire and crashing before he could land at Rock Creek Airport near Missoula, Montana.

Oddly enough, Ward was on his way to Montana to work on a documentary-style film about the recovery of downed airplanes.

To honor Ward’s untimely passing, History Channel published a heartfelt message on a Facebook mage memorializing him. The message mentions what Ward “loved most were his family including his kids and grand-kids & trucking.” Additionally, the post made mention of Ward’s many contributions to various charities including a food drive to aid Louisiana flood victims.

The post stated that Ward spent a lot of his free time outdoors. He enjoyed fishing, hunting, and camping. It also mentioned Darrell Ward being a self-appointed “adrenaline junkie” who also “helped local authorities fight forest fires.”

The tribute ended with Ward’s personal mantra, “ANY ROAD, ANY LOAD”.