Lights on the Hill to honour young Ryan Pringle
HE WAS a truckie's son driving with his dad when tragedy struck.
Ryan Pringle was in his dad Ben Pringle's truck when, just two days after Christmas last year, it collided with another on the Gore Highway near Millmerran.
Ryan, the smiling boy from Gatton in the Lockyer Valley, died at the scene while another man, Pampas farmer Lyndon Pfeffer, 62, passed away days later in hospital.
Ryan will be the youngest person to be added to the Lights on the Hill Memorial Wall during the annual service which honours members of the trucking and transport industry.
LOTH secretary Juanita Johnson, who lost her son and his father in a truck crash, said more than 100 trucks had pre-registered for two convoys which will leave from Toowoomba and Brisbane today.
The western end will travel the Toowoomba Bypass for the first time since its opening last month, before both convoys meet at the Gatton Showgrounds.
She said seeing the trucks lined up and drivers honouring their transport colleagues was "a hard thing to describe".
"It's a mixture of pride and shock, it makes it very real," Ms Johnson said.
"But I think it's pride more than anything because they're being remembered, and they're a part of something."
Another 31 names will be added to the memorial wall as a permanent reminder of those who have lost their lives in trucking and transport-related tragedies, or who have passed away after years of dedicated service in the industry.
The LOTH convoy has grown over its 16-year history from humble beginnings to a massive day etched on transport-industry calendars.
Ms Johnson said several businesses had this year registered multiple trucks for the convoy including Nolan's Transport with about 15 trucks.
When once there were two separate events, Ms Johnson said the LOTH had combined the convoy and memorial service into the one over two days.
One convoy will today leave from United Petroleum at Heinemann Rd in Toowoomba, with a second to leave Nolan's Interstate Transport on Sherbrooke Rd at Willawong.
Both will begin at 9.30am, under police escort.
The memorial service will begin at 10am tomorrow at Lake Apex Park in Gatton.
"The Lights on the Hill aren't just the drivers who have been killed but the large majority of people who have been added to the wall have been killed in work-related accidents," Ms Johnson said.
"And that makes it even more tragic."