For over 20 years, the crane drivers of ABA Crane Hire waved ‘hello’ to Ben Lawton, a 35-year-old man. Lawton had autism and epilepsy, and when he suddenly collapsed in his home, people were heartbroken to learn that he had died.
Growing up, Lawton’s bedroom had overlooked the crane yard, and he was endlessly fascinated with how they worked and the drivers who operated them. When he was old enough to go out on his own, he would visit the crane yard and stand at the gates, watching the cranes come and go.
He learned a lot in those 20 years. He knew everything about their engines, knew the drivers who worked there, and could even identify the different cranes based on the sounds of their engines. He even painted his bike in the same colors of the company. There wasn’t a person he wouldn’t talk to about the cranes that he loved, and many of the drivers would stop for a quick chat and to drop off a treat for Lawton.
For his funeral, three large cranes and one small crane escorted his hearse to the crematorium out of respect for the man who had dedicated his life to learning all about cranes.
Now that Lawton has passed, the company had a plaque made in his memory displayed in the spot he used to stand in.
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