Alexandria, Virginia

The Truckload Carriers Association (TCA) has recognized truck driver Robert Flaherty, Jr. as a Highway Angel for risking his life to save that of a young boy.

The incident took place on July 10, 2006. On assignment for a car hauler, Flaherty had driven several luxury vehicles from Florida to their owners in California. Before returning, his dispatcher asked him to pick up a 1973 Mustang and take it back to Florida.

As Flaherty loaded the vehicle onto his truck, the owner’s 5-year-old boy, intensely curious, stood at the bottom of the ramps, closely watching Flaherty’s actions.  Suddenly, the Mustang’s emergency brake snapped and the car began to roll down toward the child. Knowing the car’s weight would kill the boy instantly, Flaherty threw his body against the car, holding it back just long enough for the father to thrust the boy to safety. When he saw he was safe, Flaherty let the car go. When he did so, his pants became entangled in the car, and Flaherty was pulled under the rear tire and down the ramps.

Flaherty suffered severe bodily damage, but later said it was all worth it to save the child’s life.

In recognition of his selfless act, Flaherty received a Highway Angel lapel pin, certificate, and patch for his efforts.

Since its inception in August 1997, the Highway Angels program has recognized hundreds of drivers for the unusual kindness, courtesy, and courage they have shown others while on the job. TCA has received letters and e-mails from people across North America nominating truck drivers for the program.

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.