Alexandria, Virginia

Nearly a year ago, John Boyd, a professional truck driver for ABF Freight System, Inc., of Fort Smith, Arkansas, was named a Truckload Carriers Association Highway Angel for helping a severely injured man trapped in a dangerous situation. Now, Boyd is being recognized again for doing another good deed while on the job.

On March 3, 2011, at approximately 6 a.m., Boyd was traveling on I-40 eastbound near Jackson, Tennessee. He had just passed a car when suddenly he realized that the driver was losing control. The vehicle rolled over from side to side several times, hit a light pole, flipped head over heel four to five times, and then came to a stop upside down in a ditch.

Boyd called 911 and asked the operator to send an ambulance. He then approached the vehicle, which was smoking and steaming. A young male in his early 20s, bleeding from his arms, climbed out of the car and began stumbling around, apparently searching for the bumper of his car, which was now in the middle of the road.

At first, Boyd thought the driver was simply in shock, but then he realized that alcohol was involved. In fact, the young man told Boyd that he was drunk and that he knew he was in a lot of trouble and would probably go to jail.

Not wanting to leave the young man alone in his inebriated condition, Boyd waited with him, encouraging him to back away from the smoking vehicle and sit down a short distance away. Once the Tennessee Highway Patrol arrived, Boyd provided a statement, and they took over from there. An officer later called Boyd, thanking him for being the only motorist to stop and help. He said it was good that Boyd had gotten the drunk driver away from the wreck and into a safe sitting position, thus preventing him from possibly injuring himself further.

“The officer told me that the boy did wind up in jail. I just hope he learned a lesson from the experience and never tries it again,” said Boyd. “The next time, he might not get so lucky.”

Last year, Boyd was honored by TCA as a Highway Angel for coming to the aid of a 27-year old soldier who was home on leave from Iraq and was about to head out to Afghanistan. The soldier had lost control of his car and had driven off the road. The car flipped over the guardrail, rolled at least four times and landed on the ramp, ejecting its severely injured driver onto the pavement where Boyd found him. From the position where his body landed, if Boyd had not used his trailers to block traffic, the man would almost certainly have been hit by other vehicles as they attempted to go around the wreck. Because of Boyd’s quick thinking, the man survived, and ABF later honored Boyd with its Medal of Excellence, an award that recognizes employees for an extraordinary deed of a life-changing nature.

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