The Truckload Carriers Association has recognized Lisa Motor Lines driver Tommy Dodd as a Highway Angel for providing aid to a teenage accident victim despite freezing temperatures. The incident took place at about midnight on Dec. 16; the weather was frigid, and there was a lot of ice on the ground. Dodd was driving his truck eastbound on Interstate 44 near Tulsa, Okla., when he saw a car strike a guardrail and roll over.
Dodd immediately stopped his rig and called 911, and without even taking the time to put on his coat, he ran to the teenage driver, who had been ejected from the vehicle and indicated that he was having trouble breathing. Dodd kept the young man calm and advised him not to move in case he had injured his back or neck. “I’m here with you and not going anywhere,” Dodd told him. Together, they waited for paramedics to arrive.
The boy asked Dodd to call his parents, and after reaching the father’s voicemail, Dodd was able to contact the teenager’s mother. He explained who he was and what had happened, reassuring the frantic mother that her son did not appear to have any life-threatening injuries. He described what the paramedics were doing and told her the name of the hospital where they would soon be transporting her son.
Dodd would later learn that the mother was employed by another trucking company and that both she and her company president both had expressed their sincerest gratitude to Dodd’s company and wanted to thank him profusely for what he did. Dodd’s company’s safety department then nominated him as a Highway Angel.
“The boy was wearing a black sweatshirt and dark jeans, and it was very hard to see him in the night,” Dodd says. “No one else stopped to help, so I’m glad I was there. But I can tell you this — there was no way I was going to leave him there by himself in the cold. I have two kids of my own and can only hope that someone else would help them if they were in a similar accident.”
Dodd received a Highway Angel lapel pin, certificate and patch for his efforts. Lisa Motor Lines, based in Dallas, 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.