‘Ev­ery­body’s dev­as­tated’

Flag­man Tom Gar­diner of New Har­bour remembered as won­der­ful man, con­sci­en­tious worker


The fa­ther- in- law of Tom Gar­diner, the man killed while work­ing as a flags­man Thurs­day, said Gar­diner he was, “loved by ev­ery­body.”

“He was al­ways there to help any­body,” Merv Wil­liams told The Tele­gram Fri­day.

Gar­diner was struck and killed on the Route 80 high­way be­tween Heart’s Con­tent and Old Per­li­can just be­fore 9 a.m. Thurs­day while his crew was work­ing to clear brush in the area.

Shortly af­ter news of his death spread in the re­gion, con­do­lences poured in to the fam­ily from peo­ple across the prov­ince, who knew Gar­diner as a kind, gen­er­ous per­son and hard worker.

“Ev­ery­body’s dev­as­tated,” said Wil­liam, who said his daugh­ter is cop­ing as best she can un­der the cir­cum­stances. “He was a big man, al­most 300 pounds, but he was a gen­tle bear.”

Wil­liams said Gar­diner was orig­i­nally from Pla­cen­tia, where he met his wife Lori. The two cel­e­brated their 20th wed­ding an­niver­sary in Novem­ber. They lived in Labrador City for a few years be­fore mov­ing back to New Har­bour in 2011.

“He was like a son to me … but he was a good friend too,” Wil­liams said, fight­ing back tears.

Wil­liams doesn’t know de­tails of what hap­pened, but he said Gar­diner was struck by a pickup truck and was thrown 50 feet.

Wil­liams said Gar­diner was an ex­pe­ri­enced flags­man, who was “metic­u­lous” about safety.

“He al­ways wore his vest and would al­ways make sure things were done right,” he said. “He’d make sure mea­sure­ments were right and was head­strong about stuff like that. He was very par­tic­u­lar.”

Wil­liams said he’ll also re­mem­ber the ca­ma­raderie he shared with his son-in-law.

“It’d be noth­ing for Tom to come in my shed and tidy it all up for me. He had a place for ev­ery­thing,” he said. “He was a won­der­ful man.”

Wil­liams said Gar­diner’s re­mains will soon be taken to Car­nell’s Fu­neral Home in St. John’s. His ashes will then be taken to War­ren’s Fu­neral Home in Dildo.


Tom Gar­diner died Thurs­day af­ter he was hit by a ve­hi­cle on the high­way be­tween Heart’s Con­tent and Old Per­li­can where he was work­ing as a safety flag­man.

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