ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. - A Western Express truck driver who said he was fired for giving away plywood to Zephyrhills residents ahead of Hurricane Irma was not terminated, but quit, company CEO Paul Wieck said.
Tim McCrory was delivering to the Home Depot in Zephyrhills last week when his truck suffered a blown tire. The fix took seven hours, delaying McCrory’s arrival until Saturday morning.
By then, the Home Depot was closed. But customers continued arriving in hopes of purchasing supplies.
“We understand what was probably going through his mind during these extraordinary circumstances, which is why we did not fire him, and have no plans to do so,” Wieck said in a statement. “Ideally, he would have let us know he was giving away the plywood, but we understand he was trying to do the right thing, and we’d welcome him back on our team. I’ve personally tried to contact him several times over the last few days, but have not been able to reach him.”
McCrory said he received a call on Monday from a supervisor at the Nashville, Tenn., trucking company, saying he was fired.
Wieck disputed that account. He claims McCrory didn’t report he had given away the plywood until he got all the way to Virginia.
According to Wieck, McCrory claimed a Zephyrhills police officer ordered him to give away the plywood at the Home Depot. A police spokesman told 10News they didn’t have any officers at the store the Saturday before the storm and the store isn’t even in their jurisdiction.
One of the people who received the plywood, Tracy Dillon Drew, launched a GoFundMe campaign to support McCrory's family.
The campaign raised $7,616 as of Friday afternoon.
McCrory didn’t respond to calls on both Friday and Saturday asking for comment.
Western Express said the involved companies are writing off the cost of the plywood.
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