The Truckload Carriers Association has named Danny Hodges, an owner-operator leased to National Distributors Leasing Inc. of Sellersburg, Ind., as a Highway Angel. On June 5, Hodges was having his truck fixed at a truck stop in Laredo, Texas. It was a hot day, with temperatures reaching a sweltering 104 degrees. From inside the maintenance facility, while discussing his truck’s condition with the mechanics, Hodges happened to glance toward the fuel pumps. He saw a man staggering around.
At first, he thought the man must be drunk, but when he saw him lean against a pole and fall over, Hodges realized that a heart attack was occurring. Running over to the man – a fellow truck driver – he felt for a pulse, but there was none, and the man felt cold and clammy. Hodges dragged the man into some shade and then began performing chest compressions. Numerous bystanders stood and watched, but no one helped. After 3 to 5 minutes, the man briefly revived and looked at Hodges, but then his pulse stopped again.
After another 15 minutes, this pattern repeated. Hodges continued to toil in the heat, down on his knees on the burning pavement. Several of the bystanders advised Hodges to give up, reminding him that there could be potential liability issues if the man died. “There’s just no way I was going to give up on him,” Hodges says. “My wife and I have a saying, ‘Failure is not an option.’ I was determined to keep going until emergency responders got there.”
Hodges continued on, sometimes reviving the man and sometimes losing his pulse again. After a total of 40 minutes, paramedics arrived and took the man to the hospital, where eventually he recovered. Both the ambulance driver and a doctor at the hospital stated that Hodges’ efforts single-handedly saved the man’s life. A representative from the truck stop wrote a letter to National Distributors Leasing praising Hodges for his efforts, and the man that Hodges saved later called him to express his own emotional thanks.