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This Is The Moment Ice Road Truckers' Darrell Ward Knew He Wanted To Become A Truck Driver

On History's "Ice Road Truckers," viewers get a glimpse at modern-day Baltos. Though the series' commercial truckers may not have a statue in Central Park, their aims are similar to the heroic sled dog: delivering necessary supplies to the farthest reaches of isolated Arctic territories in North America. "Ice Road Truckers" first premiered in 2007 and aired for 11 seasons until its cancellation in 2017. The series produced such high-octane danger that it had viewers questioning whether "Ice Road Truckers" was staged.

While viewers may tune in to witness perilous conditions and beautifully stark terrain, it's the magnetic personalities of the drivers that kept them hooked, whether it's fan-favorite Lisa Kelly or the highly profane Art Burke. "They choose a mix of people that attract [viewers] because of the interplay between us," Alex Debogorski told Profiles. Darrell Ward joined "Ice Road Truckers" during Season 6. Here's how he got his start driving trucks.

Ward was 12 years old when he realized he wanted to drive trucks

Darrell Ward hailed from Deer Lodge, Montana and caught the trucking bug at a young age. "The age I realized I wanted to be a truck driver, I was probably about 12 years old," said Ward (via History). "My granddad was a custom harvester. [He] traveled across the nation. First time I went on harvest with my granddad I was 12 years old."

Ward leveraged his genetic predisposition towards trucking into a decades-long career, most of which he spent in the friendlier environs of the midwest, making him something of a rookie when he joined "Ice Road Truckers" in 2012. Ward once boasted that he drove 2200 miles in one sitting, driving from Montana to Kansas and back again.

Sadly, Ward passed away in 2016 in a plane crash. The trucker and TV personality was co-piloting a single-engine aircraft en route to Rock Creek Airport near Missoula, Montana. He was 52 years old. In a twist of tragic irony, he was on his way to film a special about plane wreck recoveries. "When Darrell wasn't hitting the Ice Roads he would be back in Montana doing what Darrell loved best as a log-hauler and occasionally helped local authorities fight forest fires," reads a Facebook post in the wake of his death (via Deadline). "His motto 'Any road, any load' fits his personality perfectly."