ATHS names new president, executive director

Trucking news and briefs for Thursday, July 4, 2024:

ATHS elects new leadership

David Schnautz's 1981 Kenworth W900A and 1982 Wilson livestock haulerDavid Schnautz's 1981 Kenworth W900A and 1982 Wilson livestock hauler, "A Dream Come True," was on display at the 2019 Great American Trucking Show in Dallas.Jason Kindig

The American Truck Historical Society has elected David Schnautz, VP of Texas-based Clark Freight Lines, as its president for a two-year term that began June 7. The association also named John Gravley as its executive director.

Schnautz’s journey in the trucking world started in 1986 when he became an owner-operator -- his first truck a 1980 R-model Mack, symbolizing the beginning of a successful career that would eventually lead to co-owning a company. In 1989, David and his brother Danny played a pivotal role when they joined Clark Freight Lines Inc. in Pasadena, Texas.

Over the years, their dedication and hard work paid off when they had the opportunity to purchase the company from the retiring owner in 2021. Under the brothers’ leadership, the company has grown significantly, boasting a fleet of more than 155 trucks and numerous trailers.

Schnautz joined ATHS in 1991. His involvement deepened after meeting friend and ATHS Past President Marty Glomb. He has risen through the ATHS ranks from chapter president to Texas/Oklahoma Regional Vice President, and eventually to a position on the executive board within three years. He has served on the executive board for more than four years, totaling approximately eight years of active contribution. 

Gravley, with 30-plus years of experience in nonprofit work, has an extensive background in a variety of settings and locations. He has worked in higher education, social services, and international development in the United States, Hong Kong, and Guatemala, and has served as executive director, fundraising leader, and senior search consultant for a Kansas City-based executive search firm. He has a track record of successful and creative leadership in various roles. 

Having served for eight months as ATHS Interim Executive Director, Gravley accepted the position full-time beginning this month. He looks forward to working with ATHS to determine how to implement the recently adopted ATHS Vision Statement and move the Society to even greater stability as ATHS works to preserve the history of trucks, the trucking industry, and its pioneers.

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Trucker earns recognition for stopping to help after witnessing crash

The Truckload Carriers Association has named truck driver Mark Wilson, from Hernando, Mississippi, a Highway Angel for stopping to help a man who crashed after rolling his car end-over-end several times on a Missouri highway. Wilson works for American Central Transport (ACT) out of Kansas City.

On May 2 around 10:30 a.m. on I-70 near Marshall, Missouri, Wilson observed a passenger vehicle directly in front of him losing control and leaving the roadway. The vehicle entered a ditch in an empty field and rolled at a high rate of speed.

“It end-over-end crashed,” Wilson said. “I was only 100 feet away from him by the time I parked.”

Wilson brought his truck to a stop on the shoulder of I-70 at considerable risk to himself, and left his truck to go over to the disabled vehicle.

“Fear took over because airbags were covering the window,” Wilson said. “I was afraid if I looked in, I was gonna see something I couldn’t unsee.”

Wilson yelled in the vehicle and heard a response from the driver, a very large man, who didn’t appear to have any serious injuries. Wilson said the driver claimed he was driving to Illinois to pick up his grandmother to take her to his college graduation at a university in Nebraska. His car was completely packed with what appeared to be items from moving out of his college dorm.

The driver was pinned in the car, stuck. Wilson grabbed his arm to try to get him to slide out of the car.

“I pulled him out as far as I could and I told him, ‘I need you to hug me like I’m your best friend,’” Wilson said.

Once the driver did this, he was able to pull him out of the vehicle. Emergency vehicles arrived soon after, and the driver refused medical treatment. Wilson is glad that he stopped to help.

“How could I just drive away?” he said. “It just seemed like there was no way anybody could have survived that crash.”