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History Channel to debut 'Ice Road Truckers' reality series on June 17


By Christopher Rocchio, 06/13/2007 

The History Channel has announced that it will premiere Ice Road Truckers, a new Deadliest Catch-like docu-reality series that follows a group of six truck drivers who navigate frozen terrain just miles from the Arctic Circle, on Sunday, June 17 at 10PM ET/PT.

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For two months, The History Channel filmed the six men as they traveled over over frozen lakes that serve as roads and hauled crucial supplies to miners working at Canadian diamond mines located only miles from the Arctic Circle.

The drivers featured in Ice Road Truckers are responsible for supplying the diamond mines just outside of Yellowknife in Canada's Northwest Territory.  However although Canada's diamond industry is a $1.9 billion a year business (Canada currently ranks as the world's third largest diamond producer), the terrain where the mines are located is extremely treacherous.  Jackknifing, breakdowns and accidents are the least of the drivers' troubles -- since they are driving over frozen lakes, the drivers never know when the ice beneath the wheels of the rigs they drive will give way, placing their lives in constant peril.

Ice Road Truckers is produced by Original Productions with Thom Beers and Philip Segal serving as executive producers.

The six drivers featured in Ice Road Truckers -- as well as their The History Channel supplied bios -- are:

- Hugh Rowland, a 50-year-old who is rough around the edges but also a master trucker who has been in the business for 20 years. Rowland owns four trucks, driving one himself and hiring out three drivers for the rest.

- Rick Yemm, an employee of Hugh Rowland who is a brash, tattooed trucker in his second year on the job. Last trucking season he drove one of the first loads over the ice road, when you can hear the ice cracking the loudest. That was nearly enough to make him call it quits, but he says he "was too stupid and too stubborn" and stuck around.

- Alex Debogorski, an ice road trucking community legend who is entering his 26th year as a driver in Yellowknife. Debogorski is a street intellectual and proud father of 11 children and seven grandchildren.

- Jay Westgard, a 27-year-old who is widely considered to be the most talented driver of his generation.  Westgard started driving at 16-years-old and owned his first truck at 18.

- T.J Tilcox, an ice road rookie who hates the cold, hates the ice and is not here for the money, but for the "experience." The big question with Tilcox is if he has the wherewithal to navigate the road if and when he gets stuck in a whiteout overnight and must fight for his life as the cold creeps into his truck.

- Drew Sherwood, a trucker who has been driving trucks for years but never driven on an ice road.  Sherwood joined Hugh Rowland's team of truckers after answering an advertisement in the local newspaper and is confident that he'll have no problems adjusting from the highway to the ice.

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