TruckingIndustry.news

This Week Hails Two Truck Drivers as Highway Angels of 2012

by Jana Ritter - Published: 12/14/2012

Rodney Smith of Plant City received a rare honor Wednesday, when the American Trucking Association officially designated him as one of their “Highway Angels” of the year. An award given for commitment to the highest ideals of the industry and kindness to a fellow passenger, Smith's heroic act makes his story even more exceptional. On September 6th, the 60 year old was taking his usual early morning commute to FFE Transportation in Dundee to start on his local semi-trailer deliveries, not knowing he would become the first truck driver to rescue a toddler right off the road.


Angel

Rodney Smith of Plant City received a rare honor Wednesday, when the American Trucking Association officially designated him as one of their “Highway Angels” of the year. An award given for commitment to the highest ideals of the industry and kindness to a fellow passenger, Smith's heroic act makes his story even more exceptional. On September 6th, the 60 year old was taking his usual early morning commute to FFE Transportation in Dundee to start on his local semi-trailer deliveries, not knowing he would become the first truck driver to rescue a toddler right off the road.

At a celebratory company dinner in Smith's honor, Don Presley, FFE's southeast regional Safety Manager, said he'd never met any truck driver who received a "Highway Angel" award in his 30 years in the industry. "He's the only driver I could shake the hand of," Presley said. "They don't hand these out." The American Trucking Association only awards 6 to 12 “Highway Angels” each year.

On Saturday, the Truckload Carriers Association will be honoring their own “Highway Angel” of the year in front of 34,000 fans at the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl. Kenny Cass, a driver development instructor for FedEx Freight of Portland, Oregon, was the only person to stop and help victims involved in a bad accident on the evening of March 22, 2012. After witnessing a pick-up truck rear-end a tractor trailer and become wedged up to its windshield under the truck, Cass was the only person to handle a series of problems at the scene for over 20 minutes before authorities arrived.

"It is hard to believe that Kenny was the only person who stopped to help at the scene of this nasty accident, especially since it was still early - only eight o'clock in the evening - and plenty of people were passing by on the well-traveled road," said Tom Kretsinger Jr., TCA's first vice chairman. "Kenny truly embodies what the Highway Angel program is all about and an outstanding representative of the trucking industry.”