Alexandria, Virginia

The Truckload Carriers Association has named Evert Gott, from Lacassine, Louisiana, a Highway Angel for aiding another driver who was injured after his truck rolled over, dumping hot asphalt.

It was mid-afternoon on May 1, and Gott was heading to Fort Worth, Texas when he saw a dump truck carrying hot asphalt roll over in the eastbound lanes of I-20 just outside Vicksburg, Mississippi. “He was going into a curve,” shared Gott, “blew a tire, lost control and flipped over—the guardrail stopped him.” Gott pulled over as quickly as he could and ran back to the scene. “I did my best Dukes-of-Hazzard jump to get over the guardrail,” he quipped. “By the time I got to the truck he was barely walking and trying to move around the front of the truck toward the guardrail.” Asphalt had spread all over the road and in the truck. “He had tar on his side. He was in pain and his skin was peeling off,” recalled Gott. “I helped him to my truck to get him in the shade where he could sit down.” He gave the man a bottle of cold water. A deputy arrived and called an ambulance. “It took what seemed like hours to arrive,” the driver shared.

Gott did his best to help and comfort the driver until paramedics and police arrived. The man’s wife arrived before emergency vehicles. She thanked Gott several times for stopping and helping her husband. Gott stayed at the scene for over three hours until the cleanup was done. “The asphalt had spread from shoulder to shoulder, about two inches thick all across the highway,” he said. “I couldn’t move until they were done.” As he reflected on the accident, he noted that it happened on Friday, May 1, at 2:30 p.m., exactly two weeks after his mother died. “It made me wonder,” he says, his voice trailing off. “I was thinking about her.”

For his willingness to assist a fellow driver, TCA has presented Gott with a certificate, patch, lapel pin, and truck decals. His employer, Groendyke Transport, has also received a certificate acknowledging their driver as a Highway Angel.

Since the program’s inception in August 1997, more than 1,250 drivers have been recognized as Highway Angels for the exemplary kindness, courtesy, and courage they have displayed while on the job. EpicVue sponsors TCA’s Highway Angel program.