Innisfil truck driver David Virgoe is still being hailed a hero almost a year after he was killed in a horrific Highway 400
Gabriel Zepeda, a Grade 5 student at Goodfellow Public School, thinks Virgoe is a hero for his actions that day last
June, which police and witnesses say saved the lives of many motorists on the busy roadway. Virgoe is credited with
intentionally steering his rig off the road after being involved with three alleged street racers. Zepeda wrote about him
for a class project titled My Hero and sent a copy of it, along with a note, to the truck driver's widow, Debbie Virgoe.
"I got this letter from a little kid, and it got my heart. I thought, 'Oh my God. I have to talk to him,'" she said yesterday
after visiting with Zepeda at the school.
He knows that street racing is a bad thing to do and he's not even driving yet, she said.
"It's really important this message is getting to kids his age who can see the stupidity of what's happening out there. It's
amazing that it's coming back to that age group," Virgoe said.
"They are very open-minded, because they haven't been behind the wheel trying to impress someone. They are
learning a positive message that it is a privilege to drive, it's not a right. In another five years, he could be driving and
he's already on the path of thinking how bad street racing, speeding and drinking and driving are," she added.
While many of the students picked movie stars or other high-profile people, Zepeda wrote about someone he thought
had the makings of a true hero.
"I decided to do this because instead of doing it on a star, I wanted to do it on somebody who had saved peoples'
lives," Zepeda said. "Street racing is not good at all. It's very dangerous. People are getting killed every day because of
"I just want to tell you what Mr.Yirgoe did isn't just noticed by adults. It's also noticed and appreciated by children," he
said in his note to Debbie Virgoe, adding that her efforts to stop street racing and speeding are also appreciated.
"I just want to thank you for what you are doing to get laws passed to stop these people. You, too, are a hero. I will
never forget what Mr. Virgoe did. He has touched so many peoples' lives. God bless you and your family," Zepeda
Virgoe said she was impressed with the youngster's writing.
"It was all the detail he had in it and how the accident could touch a family and for him to think of David," she said.
"David was always worried about the way people conducted themselves on the road.
"When they told me (he was a hero), it didn't surprise me at all. It's what David would've done," she added.
To read Zepeda's essay, visit www.thebarrieexaminer.com.
Contact the writer at [email protected]
Page created on 10/12/2011 12:00:00 AM
Last edited 10/12/2011 12:00:00 AM