Alexandria, Virginia

The Truckload Carriers Association has named Greg Truitt, from Mount Airy, North Carolina, a Highway Angel, for stopping to help an elderly stranded woman alone on the road.

It was 3 a.m. one day in early April, and Greg Truitt was traveling on Highway 460 on his way to Charleston, West Virginia from Roanoke, Virginia. A storm was coming through. The wind had picked up and it was starting to rain. Suddenly, two deer came across the highway in front of him. Only one made it, the other lost its footing on the pavement and stumbled. Truitt couldn’t avoid striking it. “I think she went down a little bit before I struck her,” he recalled. “It didn’t feel like it did much damage, but I did need to pull over and check everything out.” However, there was no good place to pull over, no emergency lane. “Before I could find a place, I saw a car up ahead backed into the ditch sideways. The front end was sticking out a foot or two into the right travel lane.” As he got closer, he could see a white-haired lady in the driver’s seat. There was a handicap placard hanging from the rearview mirror. “We have to be careful,” said Truitt, “sometimes you’re being set up for something.” But after seeing the elderly lady behind the wheel, he decided to trust the situation. “I figured I better check on her.”

Truitt pulled over and positioned his truck, partially blocking the right lane. “Her vehicle was turned sideways, you couldn’t see her headlights, and she didn’t have her four-ways on. Someone could have come by and caught the front end of the car.” Acting swiftly, he grabbed a flashlight and went over to check on the driver. “She thought she was out of gas,” he recalled. “She said she was in her 90s and had come from her sister’s, which was a pretty good way from where she was.” He surmises that she may have made a wrong turn and just kept driving. “She told me her son lived in Lynchburg and gave me his name. She couldn’t think of his number, bless her heart.” Truitt wasn’t able to find the number on the Internet. “I told her I would call 911 to get her some help.” He stayed with her until two sheriff’s patrol cars arrived.

Truitt was able to get in touch with the woman’s son a few days later to make sure she was safe. “He was a retired police officer,” shared Truitt. “He thanked me for stopping and said she’s doing well. I don’t feel like I did anything special. Most of the truck drivers out here are good people. I’m sure 98 percent of the people that came across that situation would have done the same thing. I’m glad the Lord put me in the right spot at the right time so I could help her. I’m glad it worked out.”

For his willingness to assist his fellow drivers, TCA has presented Truitt with a certificate, patch, lapel pin, and truck decals. His employer, ABF Freight System, 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.