Driver wins award for protecting injured man

John Boyd, a professional truck driver for ABF Freight System Inc., of Fort Smith, Ark., has been named a Truckload Carriers Association Highway Angel for helping a severely injured man on a roadway.

On April 7, Boyd was traveling on I-675 near Beavercreek, Ohio, in the early morning when he took an off ramp to U.S. 35.  In the curve of the ramp, he came across debris and a vehicle that was partially on the ramp. Thinking someone’s car had spun out, he was considering going around the vehicle when he spotted a man lying on his back.

Boyd stopped and approached the unconscious man, who was bleeding and appeared to have severe injuries. He called 911 and then returned to his truck, which was equipped with double trailers. He backed up and used the trailers to block the ramp to protect the victim.

He checked the vehicle for additional passengers and then attempted to make the man comfortable. He stayed with him until authorities arrived and stayed for another few hours.

“It was the strangest thing,” said Boyd. “I hadn’t driven the Dayton to Winston-Salem route for six or seven years. I don’t know why, but something told me to drive that way this time.”

According to authorities, the driver, a 27-year-old soldier, who was home on leave from Iraq and about to head out to Afghanistan, had been traveling on the U.S. 35 ramp to I-675 when he lost control of his car and drove off the road. The car flipped over the guardrail, rolled and landed on the ramp, ejecting its driver onto the pavement where Boyd found him. If Boyd had not blocked traffic with his trailers, the man would almost certainly have been hit by other vehicles.  Because Boyd took the time to stop and help, the man survived.

The mayor of Beavercreek honored Boyd with a certificate. But Boyd is modest when discussing the incident. “When things happen, you do things instinctively,” he said.  “Like I later told the boy’s grandfather and mother on the phone, it was a great honor for me to be in a position where I could help.”

For stopping and helping the soldier that day, Boyd has received a Highway Angel lapel pin, certificate and patch.  ABF Freight System also received a certificate acknowledging one of its drivers is a Highway Angel. 

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