Alexandria, Virginia

The Truckload Carriers Association (TCA) recently recognized truck driver Paul Leicht of Mt. Home., Arkansas, as a Highway Angel for using his truck to block off an accident from other motorists who couldn’t see it due to very heavy rain.

In a grateful letter written to Christenson Transportation, Leicht’s employer, motorist Merle Pierson described how he had a serious accident while traveling on the south-bound lane of Interstate 81, just north of Roanoke, Va. It was raining very hard when Pierson’s car hydroplaned, ran into a guardrail, and then hit another car before coming to a stop across the right-hand lane in the path of heavy oncoming traffic.
While Pierson was still inside his disabled vehicle, he realized that with his car’s lights out and the poor visibility, other motorists might not be able to see the wreck and could potentially crash into him again. But just then he spotted Leicht’s truck, which had stopped about 100 feet before Pierson’s car.
“His truck prevented other cars from broad-siding my vehicle,” said Pierson. “I am certain that his action prevented a further collision and possibly serious injury to me and others.”
Leicht also provided Pierson with a large flashlight to further warn oncoming traffic. He waited at the scene until the police and emergency responders arrived.
“While your driver could have zoomed by like all the others, he was the only one who stopped. I offered him money in recognition of his assistance, and he declined, saying it was part of his job. Leicht’s actions are a tremendous testimony to him and Christenson Transportation,” said Pierson.
Leicht has helped others before, most notably volunteering his time to help victims after Hurricane Katrina. He boasts approximately one-million accident-free miles. He received a Highway Angel lapel pin, certificate, and patch for his efforts. Christenson Transportation 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.