Alexandria, Virginia

The Truckload Carriers Association (TCA) is pleased to name Gary de Vos of Trenton, Ontario, as its latest Highway Angel. de Vos, who drives for Bison Transport of Winnipeg, Manitoba, is being recognized for helping a motorist who had a serious collision with a deer.

On April 23, 2014, de Vos was driving down a remote stretch of Highway 1 east of Winnipeg. It was about 5:00 a.m. and still dark. As he came to a wide, dirt shoulder, something on the side of the road caught his attention. Not sure exactly what it was, he decided to investigate. He was astounded to find a man sitting on the dirt shoulder, underneath a brown blanket. Apparently, he had hit a deer, which caused his car to overturn and skid about 30 feet off the roadway into a watery muskeg. The man had crawled out of the wreck and back to the road, shivering and seemingly in shock, taking a blanket he had had in the car with him for its meager warmth.

By the time de Vos stopped, the man had already been on the side of the road for more than 45 minutes. He said he had counted at least 28 vehicles that had sped past him without stopping. de Vos quickly brought the motorist into his warm truck and cranked up the heat even higher. His attempts to get help through the CB radio were unsuccessful, and his cell phone was out of signal range, but he was able to notify his dispatcher about the problem through satellite communication. Eventually, someone did stop and offer assistance and called 911. He gave the phone to de Vos, who explained what had happened. de Vos kept the accident victim warm and waited with him until help eventually arrived.

“As a night-time driver who has to pass through a highly deer-prone area, I’m always scanning the roadway left to right because deer are so hard to see” said de Vos, who spent 32 years in the Canadian military and has been a professional truck driver for about five years. “With the guy under a brown blanket, sitting on a dirt shoulder—in the dark—he blended right in. It would have been so easy to miss him if it weren’t for the movement he made.”

He continued: “I’m just glad I could help someone!”

For his good deed, TCA has presented its latest Highway Angel with a certificate, patch, and lapel pin. Bison Transport also received a certificate acknowledging that one of its drivers is a Highway Angel.

Since the program’s inception in August 1997, hundreds of drivers have been recognized as Highway Angels for the unusual kindness, courtesy, and courage they have shown others while on the job.