On July 6, 2021, John Guidry and his business partner were driving from their hometown in Louisiana to pick up some calves in Florida. At 8:00 A.M., with only 60 miles left in their nearly-2,000 mile round trip, John had just finished his last shift driving and was asleep in the passenger seat when a semi-trailer traveling in the opposite direction had a massive blowout on the driver’s side front tire. The driver lost control, taking the vehicle traveling beside it across the median and into the westbound lane, where the semi then struck two more vehicles head-on at high speed, including John’s.

John, a passenger and his dog in the other vehicle, and many of the cattle in John’s trailer were killed instantly.

Upon investigation of the crash, it was discovered that the 18-wheeler’s tires had multiple safety hazards, including a missing part on both steer tires (which were also mismatched), one tire that was the wrong size, and extensive damage that included tread cuts, chips, and even a screw lodged in one tire. The semi’s vehicle inspection was also expired. It was ultimately concluded that the crash was caused by the 18-wheeler’s failure to comply with or know about safety standards—interviews revealed that the driver and trucking company were not aware of certain FMCSA regulations, which, if followed, almost certainly would have prevented this senseless crash. Yet, other than a couple of citations issued to the driver, the company has not been held properly responsible for the damage and loss of life it carelessly caused.

John was so very loved, and around 500 people attended his cowboy-style celebration of life. He was a strong guiding force who gave positive encouragement and changed the lives of many of his friends. His loved ones remember him as the smiling cowboy with the awesome red mustache you could always count on when you needed a helping hand. Among countless other things, John’s assortment of random knowledge, survival skills, delicious cooking, and MacGyver ways are greatly missed.