‘So Much Passion’
Cherry Creek Man Remembered For Love Of Trucks, People
Shayne Matteson didn’t just want to follow in his father’s footsteps, he reveled at the chance to pass him on the open road.
The 25-year-old, born in Dunkirk and a resident of Cherry Creek, stated matter-of-factly to his parents even from a young age he wanted to drive tractor-trailers, just like his dad and several uncles who have made trucking a family tradition. The passion was truly instilled when he was about a year old — when Frank Matteson himself got into the industry and routinely would park his semi at the family’s home.
“When I would get home he would run out,” Frank Matteson said in recalling Shayne’s excitement as a child seeing the massive vehicle. “He was so happy about the truck — the whole time that’s what he wanted to see. He told me, ‘Dad, I’m going to be a truck driver.’ He either wanted to play baseball or be a truck driver. That’s what it was.”
Shayne, an independent truck driver who just years removed from high school had already visited all 50 states, died June 1 in Cherry Creek in an all-terrain vehicle accident near his home.
Frank Matteson, a truck driver for more than two decades, was in his own semi in Des Moines, Iowa, when he received the phone call.
“You feel like you died yourself,” Frank Matteson told The Post-Journal. “You feel like there’s nothing else to live for — like it’s killed you, too.”
Shayne’s mother, Lisa Silva, was at home when someone banged on her door in the early morning hours.
“I thought they were lying to me,” she said of receiving the news. “There are just no words, there’s just nothing. It’s just devastating.”
The accident occurred after midnight along Main Street in Cherry Creek. Silva said her son had hopped on the ATV, which he had just recently purchased, while with some friends just after the Memorial Day holiday when it rolled. Shayne was pronounced dead at the scene, leaving family and friends in shock.
‘HE JUST HAD SO MUCH PASSION’
For Frank Matteson — who lives in Louisiana with his wife, Kristin — driving a semi truck is a way of life. “I’ve been doing this for 24 years,” he said. “I got that passion every day. It’s my love, and there’s nothing really to explain it.”
It was evident Shayne not only looked up to his dad, he was determined to follow him into a career driving a semi. Frank Matteson recalled telling his son the rigors of being on the road — away from home and family. But it was too late; Shayne had long ago made up his mind.
Upon graduating from Pine Valley Central School in 2014, Shayne worked at Dunkirk Specialty Steel where he quickly excelled. The work paid well, but Shayne was just biding his time for his trucking career to begin. However, he had to wait a couple of years to get his commercial license and because U.S. federal law requires truck drivers to be 21 years of age to haul cargo over state lines.
When it did come time to train, it was evident Shayne was in his element. “When he got behind the wheel it was clear he didn’t need a lot of training. It was all natural,” his father said.
Frank Matteson eventually helped his son find work with Dart Transit based in Minnesota. As an independent truck driver, Shayne could pick and choose his loads, affording him the chance to travel the country while also making good money. “He was able to go wherever he wanted to go,” said Frank Matteson, who noted that his son already had his own home, several vehicles and was looking to purchase a semi to be truly independent. The two also loved the idea of being on the road together, where one could pass the other.
“He was dedicated,” Silva said of her son. “I’m very proud he went for his goal — what he wanted, he went for it. He was great.”
As a driver, Shayne was sometimes away from home for weeks at a time. “Well, it was tough, especially for the first few months,” Silva said. “He just had so much passion and it just made him happy.”
REMEMBERING A FRIEND
Friends and family on Saturday took part in a “convoy” in Cherry Creek to remember Shayne and his love of trucks. Video of the convoy shows several pickup trucks and tractor-trailers, many with signs that read: Shayne C. Matteson, 3/23/1996 — 6/1/21. In loving memory.”
After Sunday’s funeral service, Silva and Frank Matteson said they were approached by several of Shayne’s friends who offered sympathy and to recall their favorite stories. One such friend pointed to Shayne’s yearbook quote, which read: “If speed kills me, don’t cry because I was smiling,” a reference sometimes attributed to the late actor Paul Walker.
“He touched so many lives,” Silva said of her son and the response she has seen from the community. “It’s been overwhelming, but it’s been so compassionate in the same sense. I didn’t think I could handle all of it. He had such great friends.”
In addition to trucks, Shayne was also known for his love of the Pittsburgh Steelers, baseball, working out and — perhaps most importantly — his dogs: Apollo and Remy, who regularly would travel with Shayne while on the road.
“Boy, he loved it,” Frank Matteson said of his son driving trucks. “He loved being out there. … He just loved the road. Trucking is a passion all the way.”
In addition to his parents, Shayne is survived by his siblings: Jessica (George) Thellman of Mentor, Ohio, Stephanie (Ryan) Gibbs of Stow, Franklin (Angel) Matteson III of Jamestown, Ashley (Cody) Gould of Jamestown, Candice (David) Silva of Cherry Creek, Marlene (Drew) Beach of Ft. Bragg, N.C., and Lyndsey (Mo Dadkhah) Braun of Chicago; grandparents, Shirley Hosier of Jamestown, Diane Hatcher of Conyers, Ga., and Donald and Patricia Silva of New Mexico; and nine nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by grandparents, Ray Hosier and Franklin and Bonnie Matteson Sr.; and a cousin, Lindsey Hosier.