Being a truck driver is more than just hauling goods. For many drivers, it means assuming the role of Good Samaritan – someone who keeps an eye out for people in distress. The power of this unsung emergency alert system has helped save lives and locate missing people.
Kidnappers trying to evade law enforcement often take their victims on the road. Because their job involves covering a wide swath of the country, truckers pay special attention to Amber alerts and report suspicious activity to police. The Facebook page Truckers Mean Business was started by truckers who wanted to play an active role in finding missing people. They post pictures and detailed notes about kidnappings and Amber alerts, including the recent widely publicized kidnapping of two young girls by a Mississippi man at the end of April. The man’s picture was plastered all over the site, and drivers in the area were told to be on alert.
While truck drivers weren’t responsible for finding the Mississippi suspect and the two girls, they have played a role in other cases. When a man went missing in Ohio this May, many truckers stopped to pitch in and lend a hand in the search. After an elderly man suffering from dementia in Delaware couldn’t be located, these truckers worked to alert other drivers to his plight. And when a fellow trucker failed to arrive at a scheduled stop in Florida, his peers were quick to spread the word and bring him home safely.
Truckers are also working continuously to help restore victims of human trafficking to their homes. It is estimated that 27 million people throughout the world have been kidnapped and sold into slavery. The website www.truckersagainsttrafficking.com arms truckers with ways they can spot these victims, often seen at truck stops. Their goal is to educate, empower, and mobilize truckers to combat human trafficking.
A happy ending seems to be the motivation for these heroic truckers. That was definitely the case for a truck driver in Louisiana, who last November helped restore a missing child to her father after the trucker gave the child and her mother, who had taken the child without permission, a ride to a truck stop. The driver alerted police to the situation because the mother told him she was using an alias to avoid being detected.
Because many dangerous situations crop up on the road, truckers can often become first responders. A truck driver was driving along an interstate in Pennsylvania when he saw a man beating a pregnant woman on the head with a gun. The driver stopped his truck, wedged himself between the man and the woman, and helped her climb into his cab. He was lauded for saving her life and awarded Goodyear’s Highway Hero Award for 2012.
These are just a handful of the thousands of examples of truck driver heroism. Do you have a similar story you would like to share?