Ice Road Trucker Mom Remembered After Dying on America’s Most Dangerous Road

by Courtney Blackann
(Photo by Adrian Sherratt/Construction Photography/Avalon/Getty Images)

Joy Wiebe was known for many things. She was fearless as well as strong. And now the mother of three is being remembered for her bravery driving tanker trucks along the Harrowing roads of Alaska, where she tragically died in 2018.

A book inspired by her career as one of the toughest truck drivers is set to release soon. Entitled “Mothertrucker” and written by friend Amy Butcher, the book details Wiebe’s personal and professional struggles and triumphs.

Further, the book celebrates Wiebe’s accomplishments. The mom didn’t have an easy life, but her perseverance led her to become an incredibly skilled driver. She was a pro at navigating the toughest terrain. Wiebe’s main job was to drive fuel from Prudhoe Bay Oil Field, at the very tip of Alaska and north of the Arctic Circle. 

This setting is often filled with ice, thick fog and treacherous conditions.  Wiebe trekked her 53-foot rig up the James W. Dalton Highway, an area dubbed“the most dangerous road in America.” In it’s entirety, it is 414-miles. The stretch of road begins in Fairbanks, Alaska. The road could contain anything from blizzards, ice storms, potholes and fog so thick the roads cannot be seen, according to the New York Post.

“To advance Atigun Pass is to submit to the very worst part of the rollercoaster ride. All that anxious energy is lugged further and further up, blind to what is in front of you and the exact moment you will drop,” Butcher states in the book.

Additionally, Wiebe seemed to be made for the road. She always loved winter, even though she grew up in Arizona. The truck driver had her first child while she was still in high school and fell subject to an abusive relationship with her partner. When that relationship fell apart, Wiebe knew she needed a change and she was willing to pull herself up by the bootstraps. Some called her pursuits crazy, according to Butcher.

“But I’d rather be crazy,” she said, “than be controlled in any way by a man.” 

Knowing she needed to be a strong, reliable mother, Wiebe got into trucking in Alaska. She worked several jobs before obtaining a commercial driving license. Along the way she learned a ton about the industry. She also said truckers were “the toughest people” she knew.

While driving in heavy fog on August 24, 2018, Wiebe’s rig, filled with 9,700 pounds of fuel tipped over. Wiebe had been trying to hug the road’s edge and navigate the best she could. When her vehicle tipped, she died instantly.

The woman made such an impact on truckers everywhere, that a memorial was organized in her honor. It was made up of several truck convoys – with an incredible turnout.

“I don’t think I’ve ever seen anything like this,” a person at the memorial said about the turnout. “Lots of parades in my lifetime. But never have they been this big.”