Channel 19

Todd Dills

Wonders of technology: Saving a life

| January 11, 2014

Tim RutledgeYou’ve probably come across the thankful survival story of Orlando, Fla.-based Tim Rutledge, who was trapped under his rig in Indiana in the very-cold temps of the last Monday. Checking out his brakes early that morning, his rig moved, pinning his right arm to the ground in the parking lot of a Pilot truck stop 30 miles from his destination. There he remained that exceedingly cold day, for six or more hours.


Updated: Views from the center of the ‘polar vortex’

Pictures and more from drivers caught in the extremely cold temps across the nation's midsection.


Derrik Thomas and Glen Hale reported on his story here on the website of Indianapolis News Channel 6, and Good Morning America interviewed him as well, which you’ll find in the vid clip below. 

All of it went down during the foot of snow that was falling all over Indiana at the time, likewise wind chills of -40. 


Colder than [fill in the blank], or Pipes bursting on the home front

"Here's to the spouses and families of the drivers – Salute!!"

Throughout it all, Rutledge’s wife and employer were calling him, having not received his typical morning check-in. His phone, set to vibrate, moved slowly over the course of the morning until it apparently broke loose from his jacket and he was able to access the voice-dial feature and report his condition. 

Good argument, I think, for keeping those batteries charged, not to mention getting familiar with the voice-dial feature itself. And: the regular check-in from the road. I’m glad Rutledge made it.

Do you have a home-contact routine? Has it proved a lifesaver in past? Tell us in the comments here. . . 

  • MercenaryMan

    Luck was on his side, but another point of this story is are we as truckers so shut in our little coccoons we dont see, or dont want to see whats happening around us, I often will pull way back in a parking spot to keep from getting my nose knocked off by the rookies, but I hate closing my curtains, until I sleep, Im often watching and looking out for others in the lot, and whose walking around etc…no one could hear his screams…..and what a horrible outcome this could have been to be the guy right next door , get up and find the worst thing, a fellow driver frozen to the ground and you didnt hear him….Im so thankful God was there…..I believe it wasnt his time to go, and some small miracle happened, and thank God for that, were glad your with us Sir……But maybe we need to watch out for each other a little bit more, in the bad weather, at night, keep an eye out for your fellow driver, your neighbor and well all be a little safer.. strives to maintain an open forum for reader opinions. Click here to read our comment policy.