Alexandria, Virginia

The Truckload Carriers Association (TCA) has named professional truck driver Leonard Domina of Sparta, Michigan, a Highway Angel. Domina, who drives for Con-way Truckload of Joplin, Missouri, is being recognized for helping a young driver who lost control of his vehicle.

On December 14, 2013, at about 2 p.m., Domina was driving eastbound along I-80 not far from Des Moines, Iowa. As he scanned the road for signs to the local weigh station, he heard a loud noise. His first thought was that he had blown a tire, so he immediately began slowing down. Then he looked in the mirror and saw white objects flying through the air. They were clearly not part of any tire.

Next he realized that an SUV was behind him and that it was keeping pace with his truck—much too close for comfort. Slowing more, he now started to pull over and realized that the SUV was doing exactly the same thing. When he finally came to a stop, he was dismayed to discover that he had been hit by the SUV and its front was now jammed up to its radiator under Domina’s DOT bumper!

A 17-year-old man with a bloody nose was inside. Domina asked if he was okay (he seemed to be) and if he had anyone else with him in the vehicle (he did not). Since the front door was stuck, he helped the 17-year-old climb out of the back. Just then, an off-duty police officer arrived and took care of the man until help arrived.

“If someone is in immediate need, I’ll help them,” said Domina, who has helped many people over the course of his 35-year driving career. In this particular case, Domina earned sincere praise from the man’s mother, who wrote a grateful letter to Con-way Truckload.

“I thank you from the bottom of my heart for saving my son’s life,” she wrote. “Your driving expertise averted certain tragedy. You are a hero!”

As TCA’s latest Highway Angel, Domina has been presented with a certificate, patch, and lapel pin. Con-way Truckload 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 exemplary kindness, courtesy, and courage they have displayed while on the job.