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Date

Smog checks is the future for California truck drivers 9/23/2019 Friday Short Haul - Volvo Dynamic Steering, Meals for 18 Wheels, speeding crackdown, OOIDA opposes legislation 9/20/2019 Telematics could be insurance-premium-saving boon for fleets 9/18/2019 54 percent of survey respondents still not impressed with telematics technology 9/16/2019 Friday Short Haul - Walmart video, it's churn, not shortage, California's independent contractor bill, hemp drivers plea 9/13/2019 TCA honors three Highway Angels 9/11/2019 Now they're talking about "smart" trailers 9/9/2019 Friday Short Haul - Detention-time comments, truck orders decline, diesel fuel shortage 9/6/2019 Berkeley study says reducing independent truckers can alleviate climate change 9/4/2019 Clearing up concerns about the drug and alcohol clearinghouse 9/2/2019 Friday Short Haul - Hurricane Dorian, Speed limiter bill, Thank a Driver campaign 8/30/2019 Georgia jury awards $280 million for truck-driver-caused multi-fatality 8/28/2019 Friday Short Haul - New eCascadias, Top cities for truck driver jobs, Push against driverless trucks 8/23/2019 Decision on California drivers' employee/contractor status coming down to the wire 8/21/2019 UPS jumps on autonomous bandwagon with TuSimple investment 8/19/2019 FMCSA publishes proposed HOS rule changes 8/16/2019 Fleets, drivers coming to like automated manual transmissions 8/14/2019 CVSA asks for new truck crash study 8/12/2019 Friday Short Haul - HOS revisions delayed, AEB mandate proposed, Koch sued for sex discrimination 8/9/2019 Kodiak Robotics takes lead in autonomous truck industry race 8/7/2019 New York City combats rash of cyclist/truck clashes 8/5/2019 Friday Short Haul - CRST wins lawsuit, OOIDA opposes insurance hike, UPSNav 8/2/2019 Mechanics shortage equals driver shortage in intensity 7/31/2019 DOT announces almost 1$ billion in grants to fix infrastructure 7/29/2019 Friday Short Haul - DOL on sleeper pay, UPS drone delivery, Geowiz ELDs 7/26/2019 FMCSA takes a look at assault, harassment of female and minority drivers 7/24/2019 It's hot out there, what's a trucker to do? Can't idle. 7/22/2019 Friday Short Haul - Utah truck rollovers, aging truckers, lifetime CDL bans 7/19/2019 Truck-mounted LED billboards coming under fire 7/17/2019 Trucker 'drones on' with unique approach to teaching driving skills 7/15/2019 Friday Short Haul - Rhode Island tolls, human smuggling, contractor vs employee status 7/12/2019 ELD mandate deadline looming, many still not compliant 7/10/2019 New "boot" device being deployed to threaten Walmart overnighters 7/8/2019 Friday Short Haul - Prime Inc vs Amazon, mother fights HOS changes, truck drivers appreciation week 7/5/2019 Proper way to fly the American flag on your truck this Fourth of July 7/3/2019 Roundabouts are becoming popular; but are they best for trucks? 7/1/2019 Friday Short Haul - Skills test proposal, driver shortage, hemp sentencing, driverless trucks 6/28/2019 Experts warn of active wildland fire season 6/26/2019 More states signing on to enlist truckers against human trafficking 6/24/2019 Friday Short Haul - Shippers of Choice, insurance rates, wheel spikes, WIT award 6/21/2019 Freight numbers not holding up to 2018's highs 6/19/2019 Truck safety group urges purges of drug abuse drivers 6/17/2019 Friday Short Haul - Self-driving certificate, truck platooning, trade war stacking up cargo 6/14/2019 HOS waiver coming soon for fireworks haulers 6/12/2019 FMCSA takes a further look at detention time 6/10/2019 Friday Short Haul - Autonomous delivery, HOS rules changes, CDL retest 6/7/2019 Roadcheck 2019 in effect this week 6/5/2019 Hemp arrest prompts USDA memo 6/3/2019 Friday Short Haul - Waymo big rigs, Move over sting, Under-21 comments 5/31/2019 Severe weather prompts renewed emergency declaration 5/29/2019 Memorial Day holiday is prime time for cargo thefts 5/25/2019 Friday Short Haul - Hauling hemp, road rage fatality, new rules for autonomous vehicles 5/24/2019 Autonomous trucks on USPS test run 5/22/2019 Future era of cab-less trucks will be the end of HOS rules 5/20/2019 Friday Short Haul - FMCSA under-21 comments, Tesla autonomous car crash, 24,000 drivers sign contract with YRC 5/17/2019 Under-21 interstate drivers getting serious look by FMCSA 5/15/2019 Trucker Buddy program matches drivers with a classroom; everyone wins 5/13/2019 Friday Short Haul - Driver awarded $80 million, ODFL driver wins, loading dock black hole 5/10/2019 Storm breaks out from Rockies, slams into Midwest, South 5/8/2019 Capacity issues have shippers looking at private fleets 5/6/2019 Friday Short Haul - HOS rules, dark skies, Falcon drivers 5/3/2019 'Bug' permits now required for four eastern states 5/1/2019 Simulator use is catching on for schools, carriers 4/29/2019 Friday Short Haul - Thinking electric, Penske opens charging station, border crossing crisis, railroads taking trucking business 4/26/2019 ELDs might not be the panacea that was hoped for 4/24/2019 Truck drivers may soon see "phantoms" driving yard trucks 4/22/2019 Friday Short Haul - Nikola big rigs, WIT welcomes Peterbilt, Oregon crashes, Border crossings 4/19/2019 Carriers claim financial benefit of putting up drivers in hotels 4/17/2019 Uber's IPO application reveals interesting data about its freight brokerage business 4/15/2019 Friday Short Haul - CDL examiner arrested, tolls proposed for trucks, marijuana use on the rise 4/12/2019 Smart Load Board will get carriers the loads they need 4/10/2019 Huge lines and long wait times greet carriers at Mexico border 4/8/2019 Friday Short Haul - Marijuana, ATA campaign, personal conveyance rules 4/5/2019 Over-the-air downloads revolutionize parameter updates 4/3/2019 Don't get scammed by skimmers 4/1/2019 Friday Short Haul -- New Cascadias honored, motorist survey, U.S, Xpress awarded, rest stop parking 3/29/2019 Legislators address underride collisions, propose more underguards for trucks, trailers 3/27/2019 Motorists soon may encounter a different kind of truck convoy 3/25/2019 Friday Short Haul -- Women in Trucking, irate motorist, FMCSA eases HOS, Safe-Cap 3/22/2019 Recent survey shows cost of roadside repairs is rising 3/20/2019 FMCSA announces drug and alcohol clearinghouse website 3/18/2019 Friday Short Haul - Swift settlement, driver shortage myth, TCA Best Fleet award 3/15/2019 The hidden danger of looking but not seeing 3/13/2019 Accident scammers target trucks for financial payout 3/11/2019 3/9/2019 3/9/2019 Friday Short Haul - Snow on the roof, bypassing toll road, Waze under fire 3/8/2019 Retailers blame driver shortage for price increases 3/6/2019 Drivers' smartphones may be clue to road roughness 3/4/2019 Friday Short Haul -- Freight rates, HOS changes, tonnage reports 3/1/2019 New tax changes hit drivers hard 2/27/2019 FMCSA to implement under-21 interstate driver program for former military 2/25/2019 Friday Short Haul -- Connecticut tolls proposed, hydrogen fuel-cell trucks, cell phone use 2/22/2019 Congress committee looks at state of America's highways 2/20/2019 Number of cargo thefts is down; but dollar value about the same 2/18/2019 Friday Short Haul -- Crossing the border, CA sues FMCSA, Lobbying against larger trucks 2/15/2019 Detention - A problem still in search of a solution 2/13/2019 February Highway Angels honorees named 2/11/2019 Friday Short Haul -- C.R. England announces pay raises, eCommerce impact on trucking, TCA announces best fleets 2/8/2019 Is a guaranteed minimum pay the solution to the driver shortage? 2/6/2019 Long CDL testing wait times cost economy billions of dollars; not helping driver shortage 2/4/2019 Friday Short Haul -- Walmart hiring, Uber Freight App, Speed-limiter Law, America's Road Team 2/1/2019 Cranking -- The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly 1/30/2019 California survives challenge to its low-carbon fuel standards 1/28/2019 Friday Short Haul - Highway robbery ... autonomous trucks ... new trailers 1/25/2019 LithiumHub enters jump-starter market with Jumpbooster JP30 1/23/2019 2019 Looks Good For The Transportation Industry 1/21/2019 Raymond Burt named TMC Trainer of the Month for February 2018 3/28/2018 TMC Transportation Announces Recipient of Prestigious Wheel Master Award 3/7/2018 TMC Transportation Named The Home Depot’s Flatbed Carrier of the Year For Fourth Straight Year 2/28/2018 Pay Raises & New Peterbilts for PAM Drivers 2/26/2018 New DOT Drug Testing Rules Effective Jan 1, 2018 1/11/2018 Amtrak Derailment: Trucks Haul 270,000 Pound Locomotive Engine During Cleanup 12/21/2017 Pepsi Places Largest Order Yet For Tesla Electric Trucks 12/12/2017 Kavin Hallett named Trainer of the Month for October 2017 12/8/2017 Over 100,000 Truck Drivers Likely Have Undiagnosed Sleep Apnea And More Testing Is On The Way 8/10/2017 Drivers Share Their Best Tips, Tricks, And Secrets For Life On The Road 7/18/2017 Drivers Are Losing Money By Taking The Wrong Approach 7/13/2017 Truckers and Guns: What Is and Is Not Legal 7/6/2017 Preparing To Go Solo For The First Time? Experienced Drivers Share Their Best Advice 6/29/2017 The Truck Stop Survival Guide: Advice From Experienced Drivers 6/15/2017 The Worst Cities For Traffic In The U.S. For 2017 6/8/2017 We Ask Drivers How They Would Make The Logbook Rules Better 5/30/2017 Self Driving Trucks Are Not Coming Anytime Soon 5/25/2017 11/30/-0001

TCA honors three Highway Angels

Dave Wickenhauser on Wed, September 11, 2019

Last Updated: Tue, September 10, 2019

It's time for Trucking Truth to again highlight some caring truck drivers who were honored last week by the Truckload Carriers Association as Highway Angels.

TCA is an organization founded in 1938 that represents more than 200,000 drivers hauling dry van, refrigerated, flatbed, and intermodal throughout the 48 contiguous states, as well as Alaska, Mexico and Canada.

Since its inception in 1997, the Highway Angels program has honored hundreds of drivers for the exemplary kindness, courtesy, and courage they have displayed while on the job. EpicVue sponsors TCA's Highway Angels program.

Joseph Wilbur of Fort Smith, Arkansas, ABF Freight Systems, Inc.

Spotting taillights on the other side of the highway where there shouldn't have been taillights alerted ABF Freight driver Joseph Wilbur of Fort Smith, Arkansas, that a wrong-way driver was barreling up the highway across from him going against traffic.

This incident occurred around 3 am as Wilbur had just left New Haven, Connecticut, and was northbound on I-95. The other driver was going northbound as well – but in the southbound lanes of the highway.

Wilbur immediately called 911 and told the dispatcher for the Connecticut State Police about the potentially disastrous situation that was unfolding beside him.

Keeping pace with the wrong-way driver, Wilbur stayed on the line with the 911 dispatcher calling out mile markers and exits as they flew by. Traffic was light, and the few southbound drivers were doing their best to avoid the vehicle as it headed toward them in their lanes.

The wrong-way driver appeared to never slow down or maneuver to avoid hitting anyone, Wilbur reported.

Finally, a vehicle traveling among a cluster of cars couldn't manage to swerve out of the way and it was hit head on by the wrong-way driver, spinning it off to the side. The wrong-way driver's vehicle rolled multiple times right alongside Wilbur's truck, and finally came to rest on its roof.

When Wilbur pulled his truck to a stop and jumped the barrier to aid the crashed driver he could spot the red flashing lights of an EMT vehicle approaching the scene.

As Wilbur and the EMT arrived at the upside-down car they saw that the driver was unconscious and hanging from his seat belt. Wilbur helped the EMT extricate the man by crawling into the car and holding the driver up to release pressure while the EMT cut the seat belt.

They pulled the driver out of the car, and he regained consciousness and began thrashing about. Wilbur stayed with the driver and kept him still while the EMT applied a neck collar.

Wilbur stayed with the EMT and the injured driver until other emergency personnel could show up and take over.

For his willingness to assist his fellow drivers, TCA has presented Wilbur with a certificate, patch, lapel pin, and truck decals. His employer has also received a certificate acknowledging their driver as a Highway Angel.

Jim Kurent of Burlington, Vermont, ABF Freight Systems, Inc.

Jim Kurent was honored as a TCA Highway Angel for the quick thinking and alertness that prevented a major head on collision, thus likely saving his own life as well as the life of the other driver.

Kurent, who lives in Burlington, Vermont, and who drives for ABF Freight Systems, Inc., was driving along a two-lane Vermont highway on January 19 when a Subaru coming in the opposite direction toward him crossed over the center line right in front of him.

Reacting quickly, Kurent managed to swerve to avoid a head-on collision with the approaching vehicle, minimizing the collision to the vehicle as it just bounced off the side of Kurent's truck.

The other vehicle careered to the other side of the road, but Kurent's truck ended up sliding into a ditch at the side of the road.

Kurent was able to maneuver himself out of the cab and, uninjured, walked up the highway to where the Subaru had come to rest. Apparently, the other driver had been listening to a book on tape and in a moment of distraction he had drifted from his side of the road and into the path of Kurent's truck.

“I wouldn’t say this was a heroic deed, but I was just alert and doing my job as I always do,” Kurent shared with TCA. “The driver of the car made a comment that my actions saved his life. I don’t know about that. But if I wouldn’t have been alert and swerved into the ditch, 50 miles an hour verses 50 miles an hour head on would not have turned out as safe as it did.”

For his quick thinking and willingness to provide aid, TCA has presented Kurent with a certificate, patch, lapel pin, and truck decals. ABF Freight System, Inc. also received a certificate acknowledging their driver as a Highway Angel.

Terry Whittington of Forth Smith, Arkansas, ABF Freight Systems, Inc.

This next Highway Angel story does not have a happy ending and, in fact, represents the worst nightmare of every truck driver who has ever had to pull over onto a busy highway's shoulder to check equipment or perform an emergency procedure.

Unfortunately, it was one truck driver's fatal tragedy, and Terry Whittingon's nightmare to witness.

He drives for ABF Freight Systems, Inc., and was on I-10 in the Los Angeles basin, just leaving Fontana, California, and heading to his home terminal in Phoenix, Arizona.

As he was driving along about 7:30 on a June 2018 morning he saw what looked like an accident ahead and a tarp lying in the road next to a tractor-trailer parked on the right shoulder.

When he noticed that the "tarp" was a man lying in the road he quickly pulled over to the right shoulder and ran to the man, calling 911 as he did so.

The driver was conscious and crying out for someone to help him get up. The man, a driver for Roehl Transport, told Whittington he had pulled over to check his equipment and had gotten sideswiped by a U-Haul vehicle pulling a car that had drifted toward the right shoulder.

The truck driver's legs were badly crushed and Whittington could tell that he was losing a lot of blood and suffering from shock. He placed his jacket over the driver and tried to comfort him while waiting for first responders to arrive. He later learned that the driver had died in the ambulance on the way to the hospital.

“It was horrible,” shared Whittington as he thinks back on that day. “I just wanted to sit there and cry.” Over the ensuing days he had a hard time sleeping. “I kept envisioning that poor man and how he was asking me to help him get up. All he did was pull over to check his equipment and now he’s dead. People need to pay more attention when they’re out there on the road.”

Whittington has been a teamster for 32 years and has worked for ABF Freight for three years.

For his willingness to assist his fellow drivers, TCA has presented Whittington with a certificate, patch, lapel pin, and truck decals. His employer has also received a certificate acknowledging their driver as a Highway Angel.

TCA encourages nominations for the Highway Angel program. Visit the TCA Highway Angel website to fill out the nomination form.

Sources: Wilbur, Kurent, Whittington

Tagged Under:

Adverse Conditions Distracted Driving Roehl Transport Truck Driver Safety Truck Driving Stories Trucking Accidents

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