Kudos to one driver for two lives saved

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The following dispatch comes by way of Boe Burleson, in sales and pricing in the back office of Tulsa, Okla.-based Paul Transportation Inc. Burleson doles out kudos on Paul Transportation driver Gary Hurd, whose heroic on-highway actions on the scene of two accidents in relatively close time proximity went unrecognized until well after the fact, when the company heard from those lives Hurd had helped save. 

As Burleson wrote in his note, received at Overdrive offices Wednesday this week, and to which I’ll concur wholeheartedly, “If more people lived their lives like Gary Hurd lives his, our world would indeed be overwhelmed with good.” Read Burleson’s account below: 

I want to tell you about a truck driver who has done some incredible things while on the job but never tells people about his heroic actions.

The only time many people think about truck drivers is when they get ready to pass a slow moving tractor trailer. “That truck driver is going so darn slow! How can I pass him?”

Most people don’t realize that professional truck drivers are paid by the miles they travel and because the law mandates that drivers can’t exceed a certain amount of driving hours per day, lost time means lost wages. With the clock ticking, if a truck driver gets held up in traffic, or has a tire blowout, or gets delayed for any reason, those lost minutes translate into money out of the driver’s paycheck. Yet professional truckers can be some of the most selfless people on the road — Gary Hurd is an example. Gary drives for Paul Transportation, the company I work for. When I see him he is always asking about other people and their families, or if there is anything he can do to help while he’s here. This selflessness translates into his driving. Gary was driving for Paul Transportation on January 17, 2015, when he came upon a wreck that had just occurred. He pulled over and went to see if he could help. Gary was able to pull an injured young girl from the wreckage, performed CPR on her and ultimately saved her life.

What’s fascinating about this story is that Gary never told anyone of the actions he took.

A few weeks after the accident, Paul Transportation received a call from the family of the girl, letting our company know of their appreciation for our driver, who saved their loved one’s life. They wanted to thank the driver personally, but the dispatcher had no clue as to the accident or the heroic actions of Gary Hurd. Only after asking some questions ourselves were we able to piece together what Gary Hurd had done in saving this young girl’s life. Gary didn’t want any recognition because “That’s just what people are supposed to do.”

That’s the type of person Gary is.

Today, Gary came into our Tulsa office to get his truck serviced. As usual, he walked into the office and began talking with us, finding out how we and our respective families were doing. While he was going through his paperwork, I noticed a letter that he received.

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For the second time in just over a year, Gary hadn’t told anyone what had ​happened to him on the highway​. After pulling this man from his burning vehicle, saving this man’s life, Gary simply got back in his truck, drove all weekend, and delivered his load on the following Monday.

Gary has saved two lives and doesn’t seek any recognition or thanks. He says, “People do the right things even when bad things are happening.”  ​

Desmond Tutu once said, “Do your little bit of good where you are; it’s those little bits of good put together that overwhelm the world.”

If more people lived their lives like Gary Hurd lives his, our world would indeed be overwhelmed with good. —Boe Burleson, Paul Transportation Inc.

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