Tommy Dodd, a trucker for Lisa Motor Lines of Dallas, Texas, was only doing what he knew was right when he helped a young man who had been in a car accident.
Midnight on December 16, 2008, Dodd was traveling eastbound on I-44 near Tulsa, Okla. The night was cold and there was a lot of ice on the roadway, he recalls. While driving, he saw a car hit a guardrail and rolled over. Without hesitation Dodd stopped his truck, checked on the driver and called 911.
“The car landed upside down and I checked to see if someone was inside,” he says. “The young boy was ejected from the car and was lying on the hill.”
Dodd kept the boy calm and still, incase he had injured his back or neck, until the paramedics arrived.
“There was no way I was going to leave him there by himself in the cold,” says Dodd. “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 asked the boy if there was a family member he could contact about the accident. After a few tries, Dodd the also contacted the boy’s mother and let her know what had happened, assuring her that her son was alive but that she needed to go on to the hospital where they were transporting him.
“She was very thankful,” he says.
Days later, Dodd received a call from the mother and found out the boy was doing fine.
Because of his heroic act, The Truckload Carriers Association recognizes Dodd as a Highway Angel for providing aide despite freezing temperatures that night.
Dodd says all truckers have a responsibility to be on the look out for accidents along the highway and for ways they can help.
“State troopers can only be in so many places,” says Dodd. “It’s an unwritten thing we truckers do, and that is to protect the roads and those on it.”
Dodd said many trucks passed the scene that night in Oklahoma, none of them stopping to help or even see what had happened.
Dodd believes that if he hadn’t have stopped something very tragic might have happened to the boy. He now wants all truckers to remember the importance of looking out for the safety of everyone on the road.
“Truckers get a bad rap as being bad guys or other low necks,” he said. “We want people to see up differently, to see us for who we really are. Helping out on the roadways is a great place to start.”
For more information about the Highway Angel program, visit the Truckload Carriers Association website.