Alexandria, Virginia  

The Truckload Carriers Association has named Richard (Rick) Connellfrom Auburn, Washington, a Highway Angel for coming to the aid of an elderly man who had fallen in his yard. 

Delivery truck driver, Rick Connell, responded to an unusual request as he was making a delivery in a residential neighborhood in Lynnwood, Washington: According to a letter sent to ABF Freight by a customer, when Connell arrived with a delivery, the next door neighbor could be heard calling out for help through the bushes. She said her husband had fallen in their garden and couldn’t get up. “The consignee and I ran through the bushes,” shared Connell, “and I jumped over the fence.” He found the man lying in a flowerbed. “He had been there for an hour on a hot, sunny day.” The man was conscious, but couldn’t lift himself out of the raised flowerbed. “I asked him if he had any injuries and checked him over. I think his pride was hurt, but otherwise he seemed to be okay.” Connell helped him up and over to a shady area of the yard and got him into a chair. At the wife’s request, he called 911 to get the fire department and paramedics to come and check the man over. “He was cold and clammy and I was concerned about a potential heart attack. I knew he was embarrassed, so I told him if he needed anything I’d be on the other side of the fence.” With that, Connell then jumped back over the fence to finish his delivery and stayed until he heard the paramedics arrive.  

Connell has been driving for 23 years. He has come across fatality accidents and stranded motorists in the middle of the night, and helped Oregon state police search for a vehicle that had gone off the road in a blizzard. “I don’t consider what happened that day to be extraordinary,” he said. “It was such a minor thing. It was nothing exciting or dramatic. Then he chuckles a bit, recalling that he was pleasantly surprised he was able to jump that fence two times at (the age of) 50.   

For his willingness to assist, TCA has presented Connell 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.

Thanks to the program’s Presenting Sponsor, EpicVue, and Supporting Sponsor, DriverFacts, TCA is able to showcase drivers like Connell.