Intermodal All-Stars

Many people don’t realize the huge impact truck drivers and other intermodal transporters have on our everyday life. Chances are most of the food you eat and the products you use everyday were at some point transported by truck, rail, and/or air.

Yet many of us sit in our cars, silently (and not so silently) cursing at truckers for getting in our way and slowing us down. In reality, many of these truckers have the opportunity to help others in both small and large ways, from slowing down a high-speed chase to literally pulling people out of burning automobiles.

PFQ Companies understands better than most the risks and hazards of life on the road, and we want to honor those intermodal all-stars over the years who have risked their own lives to help complete strangers – simply because it’s the right thing to do. We’ve compiled a list of some of the all time greatest trucking heroes through the years – but we also know there are many unsung heroes out there that we don’t know about.

Here’s an incredible video from FASTPORT that shows just how important truck drivers are to the American way-of-life. Show your appreciation for truck drivers everywhere by sharing your story.

If you know an Intermodal All-Star who deserves to be recognized, fill out the form at the end of this page and we’ll be happy to add them to our list of heroes.

Heroes of Intermodal Freight Transportation

Name: Curt Jones
Location: Alabama
Year: 1985
Heroism: Curt Jones is cited as the first trucker to cover his rig with huge posters of missing children to raise awareness of the plight of runaways. He also organized 10 truck convoys for the same purpose and started visiting schools to encourage children to seek help rather than running from problems.

Name: Kenneth Bass
Location: Florida
Year: 1990
Heroism: While on the job, Kenneth Bass watched a car drive off a narrow bridge and plunge into a swift, deep stream in the dark. He saved the drowning driver by repeatedly plunging into the stream to pull him from his submerged vehicle.

Name: Phillip Houck
Location: Oklahoma
Year: 1991
Heroism: Houck saw a station wagon burst into flames after hitting the rear of a parked flatbed trailer. The driver was killed instantly but there were 3 children in the back stuck in the fire. Using a fire extinguisher, a pipe, and his hands, Houck smashed out the windows and pulled the children to safety.

Name: Connie Cooper & Patrick Fee
Location: California
Year: 1992
Heroism: A husband and wife team, Cooper and Fee worked together, dodging and weaving traffic on an interstate highway to pull a woman to safety. The woman had been attacked and thrown under an overpass in the center lane of the busy highway. Not only did the couple save her life, but later, courtroom testimony based on the victim’s conversations with Cooper led to the arrest, conviction, and imprisonment of her attacker.

Name: Bobby Green
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Year: 1992
Heroism: During the LA riots, part-time trucker Bobby Green watched the riots unfold live on television, witnessing truck driver Reginald Denny being pulled from his truck and brutally beaten.

He raced to the scene where 3 other strangers had the same idea – help Denny. He’d never met Lei Yuille, Titus Murphy and Terri Barnett but the group of good Samaritans teamed up without missing a beat. Green drove the truck, with Murphy directing from the running board, Barnett driving in front of the truck and Yuille taking care of Denny during the trip.

All 4 were honored in 1992. Green was offered a full time position with Cemex after the riots.

Know an Intermodal All-Star who deserves to be recognized? Fill out the form at the end of this page and we’ll be happy to add them to our list of heroes.

Name: Larry “Scott” Travis
Location: Arkansas
Year: 2001
Heroism: Travis was traveling near Sheridan, Arkansas when he saw flames coming from an SUV that had run off the road into a deep ditch. He grabbed his fire extinguisher and went to help. When he saw a woman unconscious in the drivers seat, he reached through the flames to pull the woman out, dragging her through the undergrowth away from the vehicle. He suffered burns on his own body in the process, but had reacted in the nick of time – the SUV exploded only moments after he pulled the woman to safety.

Name: Derrick Harris
Location: Virginia
Year: 2003
Heroism: Harris saved the life of an individual who had been attacked and deliberately set on fire. He took his heroics a step farther when he helped police locate and arrest the person charged with the hidden crime. His employer, Schneider, recognized his deeds with their Presidential Citation Award.

Name: Douglas Crawford
Location: Alabama
Year: 2005
Heroism: Crawford saved the life of one of his own when he saw two tractor-trailers collide and burst into flames. Dodging out-of-control traffic, Crawford parked on the shoulder, ran across the median, and pulled one of the drivers out of his burning truck.

Know an Intermodal All-Star who deserves to be recognized? Fill out the form at the end of this page and we’ll be happy to add them to our list of heroes.

Name: Jorge Orozoco Sanchez
Location: Colorado
Year: 2008
Heroism: As an independent owner-operator, Sanchez was hauling grain when an SUV crossed the center line and crashed into him head-on. Shaken but conscious, Sanchez approached the other vehicles as it began burning and saw a woman unconscious in the driver seat and two girls in car seats strapped in the back. With the help of a passer-by and his own experience with car seats, they were able to rescue the two girls.

Name: Joseph Weavil
Location: Missouri
Year: 2009
Heroism: Joseph Weavil witnessed a car veer off the road, through a guardrail and down a 30-foot embankment into a creek. Weavil called police and tried to assist the overturned vehicle. Working with the first police officer who arrived on-scene, Weavil lowered him down the embankment, allowing Clark to break out a window and rescue the father and young children trapped in the car.

Name: Dave Nelson
Location: Alabama
Year: 2010
Heroism: Pam Carter and her daughter Vicki were on their way to Texas to pick up husband and father Ryan Carter, an Air Force Captain when their car ran off the road and hit a sign. Pam was okay, but Vicki wasn’t breathing. She tried urgently to flag someone down, but only truck driver Dave Nelson stopped. With permission, he pulled Vicki from the car and performed CPR until EMTs arrived. Thankfully, Nelson renews his CPR certification yearly just in case of emergencies with his wife who has cancer.

Had Werner Enterprises not sent Nelson on an alternate route that day, he would never have been on the scene to save Vicki.

Name: T.J. Lyon
Location: Oklahoma
Year: 2010
Heroism: When a man approached him at a truck stop for a ride, T.J Lyons and the truck stop staff figured out pretty quickly he was the murder suspect from Wisconsin who had escaped private security custody in Arkansas the day before.

Wanting to get the man away from the people at the truck stop, he offered him a ride and immediately texted his sister about the situation. Their mother, a dispatcher with Springfield PD, immediately contacted Oklahoma authorities. When the cops began trailing the truck minutes later, the suspect reached for gun, which was in a bag. Lyon was able to throw the bag out the window and the police were able to get their suspect back in custody.

Know an Intermodal All-Star who deserves to be recognized? Fill out the form at the end of this page and we’ll be happy to add them to our list of heroes.

Name: Mike Schiotis
Location: Pennsylvania
Year: 2011
Heroism: Driving to his destination in PA, Mike Schiotis, of Panther Expedited Services, saw a woman walking and a man close behind her. Slowing down because he thought they were injured, he noticed the man pointing a gun at the woman. He was able to position himself between the woman and her assailant and get her into his rig to take her to the next truck stop.

When the man returned to his car and followed them, Schiotis continued driving rather than stopping, notifying the PA State Police as he went. Using his CB radio to tell other truckers about the man in the car, he was able to get help from another trucker in the area. Driving side by side and weaving back and forth, they were able to slow the gunman down until troopers could apprehend the man.

Name: John Crozman
Location: South Dakota
Year: 2011
Heroism: Crozmen, a driver for Long Haul Trucking, noticed a candle flickering inside a car parked on the side of a rest stop access road during a severe snowstorm. He approached the car and found an elderly couple inside. Having been ill prepared for the dangerous weather and stuck in the car for over 4 hours, he allowed the couple to spend the night in his sleeper cab. The next day he made sure they were rescued before continuing on his way.

Name: Melville Farnell
Location: Ontario
Year: 2011
Heroism: Farnell’s tractor-trailor jack-knifed and began leaking diesel fuel when a car slammed into him head-on. The car came to a stop in a ditch. When Farnell approached, he saw a semi-conscious man in the driver’s seat. He was able to break the window and pull the much heavier motorist to safety minutes before the car exploded.

Name: Rodney Smith
Location: Florida
Year: 2012
Heroism: At 4:00 A.M on a dark stretch of road, FFE Transportation Service Inc driver Rodney Smith noticed something in the roadway. As he approached, he realized it was a little boy in nothing but a soiled diaper, covered in mosquito bites. He covered the toddler with his jacket, put him in his truck, and contacted police immediately. The boy had wandered over a quarter of a mile away from home.

A Thank You

We’d like to thank the Truckload Carriers Association and their Highway Angel program for recognizing the random acts of kindness (and heroism) by truck drivers for years. Every one of their winners (and nominees) deserves to be on this list as well, but you can view them by visiting the Highway Angel page here.

Oops! We could not locate your form.

Resources:

http://www.time.com/time/specials/2007/la_riot/article/0,28804,1614117_1614084_1614518,00.html
http://www.goodyeartrucktires.com/newsroom/nominees.aspx
http://www.odysseylogistics.com/solutions/success-stories/
http://www.goodyeartrucktires.com/newsroom/highway-heroes/hero-winners.aspx
http://www.thenewsroom.com/details/3980404
http://kansascity.legalexaminer.com/tractor-trailer-accidents/truck-driver-helps-rescue-virginia-family.aspx?googleid=276004
http://cdllife.com/2012/top-trucking-news/truck-driver-saves-toddler-alone-in-the-road-at-4-a-m/