Alexandria, Virginia          

The Truckload Carriers Association (TCA) has named Robert Simpson from Salt Lick, Kentucky, a Highway Angel for offering cold water to passengers stuck in an hours-long traffic jam in 90+ degree heat. Simpson drives for Meiborg Brothers Inc. based in Rockford, Illinois.

It’s an incredible story: On June 17, 2022, Simpson was on I-65 South near Franklin, Kentucky, stuck for over two hours in a massive traffic jam. The temperature was well over 90 degrees. Simpson noticed a van pulled over to the side of the road he thought was having mechanical issues, and considered that the air conditioning was not working.

“It looked like it might be one of those military shuttles for the VA (Veterans Administration),” Simpson shared with TCA. “I’m a retired veteran, my wife’s a retired veteran; so I got to thinking while I’m sitting there in traffic – maybe they could use a water.” Simpson approached the vehicle with four bottles of cold water from his truck, and offered it to the passengers.  

This simple act of kindness was noticed by other motorists stuck in the traffic, who then posted it on social media. “This driver deserves a gold star and a big raise!” said one Facebook post. “We sat on the road for almost two hours…he sees a van disability…he stops and gets out and gets water out of his truck…and walks it over to them! What a fantastic employee you have!” 

As it turned out, the van was not connected with veterans and its passengers were not in need of water, but nonetheless, Simpson’s kindness struck a chord with witnesses to the gesture.  

“I didn’t want to see a veteran sitting on the side of the road without water,” said Simpson.  

TCA has presented him with a certificate, patches, lapel pin, and truck decals. The company has also received a letter acknowledging him 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.

Special thanks to the program’s Presenting Sponsor, EpicVue, and Supporting Sponsor, DriverFacts.