ABF Freight truck driver Donald Wood, of Fort Smith, Arkansas, has been named a Highway Angel by the Truckload Carriers Association for helping an elderly man whose vehicle went off the road in a blinding snowstorm.
Wood was waiting out a blizzard on Jan. 12 in Liberal, Kansas, where roads were closed with the temperature around 18 degrees. He pulled his truck into a motel parking lot to wait out the weather when he noticed vehicle headlights in the snow about 100 yards away.
He got out of his truck and crossed the road, where he found a small pickup truck with a camper trailer stuck in a snowdrift. Inside the pickup was an elderly man and his dog.
“He was so happy to see me,” Wood said. “He said he didn’t know where he was, and he was afraid he’d freeze to death out there.”
Wood found a broken shovel at the motel and worked for more than an hour to get the truck out of the snow, then directed the man to the motel’s parking lot so he could go inside and warm up.
“It’s hard to see someone stuck in those kinds of conditions,” he said. “I just wanted to help him. As a truck driver, the people we meet along the way are all potential customers for the trucking industry. It’s important for us to show up as a positive role model and help where we can.”
For his willingness to help, TCA presented Wood with a certificate, patch, lapel pin and truck decals. ABF Freight System also received a certificate acknowledging their driver as a Highway Angel. EpicVue sponsors the Highway Angel program.