The Truckload Carriers Association recently recognized Jet Transit company equipment driver Jonathan Gazarian as a Highway Angel for his bravery in assisting a man injured in a car accident.
Gazarian, of French Lick, Ind., was driving to work at about 3:45 a.m. when he noticed the lights of an SUV down over an embankment close to the tree line. “Something is wrong with this picture,” he thought, and went to investigate. Seeing that the vehicle was flipped upside down over a ditch, he proceeded to call 911. Soon after, he heard a faint cry and went to search for the driver.
The victim, Billy Stephens Jr., had been returning from a local casino when suddenly his car hydroplaned and flipped over. Bleeding, Stephens had pried the vehicle’s door open, but fell into the ditch filled with icy cold water and was unable to move further. Gazarian kept him coherent and calm until paramedics arrived and transported him to the local emergency room. Stephens was treated for broken vertebrae in his neck, a deep cut requiring stitches, and a bruised spleen.
“No one can ever tell me there is no such thing as angels anymore, because I know one,” said Stephens. “His name is Jonathan Gazarian.”
Gazarian, who has been driving for more than 18 years and is close to having one million accident-free miles, received a Highway Angel lapel pin, certificate and patch for his efforts. Jet Transit, based in Leavenworth, Ind., also received a certificate acknowledging that one of its drivers is a Highway Angel.
Since its inception in August 1997, the Highway Angels program has recognized hundreds of drivers for the unusual kindness, courtesy and courage they have shown others while on the job. TCA has received letters and e-mails from people across North America nominating truck drivers for the program.