ABF FREIGHT DRIVER SAFELY RETURNS LOST CHILD TO PARENT
The Truckload Carriers Association has named Phil Cicero, from Cedar Lake, Indiana a Highway Angel for his actions when he encountered a lost child, stepped in, and safely returned the child to his parent.
Phil Cicero had come into Nashville from Chicago on the morning of July 30. After leaving his truck at the ABF Freight terminal, he was checking into a Nashville hotel for a scheduled rest when a young boy ran past him from the elevator area. “He was maybe 2 or 2 ½ years old,” said Cicero. It was around 8:30 a.m. and the boy was dressed only in underwear. “He ran straight outside and stood by the shuttle van for a moment.” There didn’t seem to be anyone around who knew the child. Concerned, Cicero left his things at the counter and went out to see where the boy was going. “He took off at a dead run,” recalled Cicero. “He was heading straight to the entrance of the hotel where cars exit and enter.” Without a moment to spare, the ABF driver walked briskly behind the boy, but decided he better run to catch up to him. As the father of four children, Cicero scooped the child up and brought him back to the hotel. “There were no parents around,” he recalled. He took the boy to the manager’s office, but he was too young to provide them with any information as to where he might belong. “We went back out to the lobby and gave him some water and chips. He wasn’t crying and was seemingly content,” said Cicero. “The manager called the police and they arrived within what seemed to be minutes. Cicero and the police thought there may be a parent or family upstairs and chalked it up to a miscommunication. Eventually a father figure came down along with a sibling to claim the young child. Cicero is thankful things turned out well.
Cicero has been driving for about five years. ABF Freight is a union company and Cicero is pleased to serve as one of the shop stewards.
TCA has presented Cicero with a certificate, patch, lapel pin, and truck decals. His employer has also received a certificate acknowledging their driver as a Highway Angel.
Since the program’s inception in August 1997, nearly 1,300 professional truck drivers have been recognized as Highway Angels for the exemplary kindness, courtesy, and courage they have displayed while on the job.