John Weston, a professional truck driver for Challenger Motor Freight of Cambridge, Ontario has been named a Highway Angel by the Truckload Carriers Association. He is being recognized for comforting a fellow driver that was involved in a crash.
On Friday morning, October 27, 2017, John Weston had finished a load and was driving on 401 East back to the yard when he came across a high-speed rear-end collision involving two semi-tractor trailers. John pulled over to the shoulder and approached the accident. He found the second vehicle was entangled in the back of the first trailer. There were no emergency services on the scene at this point and other vehicles continued to drive past the accident.
He checked in the cab of the first truck and saw that the two drivers were unharmed, so he went back to the rear truck. He found the driver upside down still strapped to his seat and unable to move in the mangled cab. The driver called out, “Open the door! Open the door!” But there was no door anymore. John could only see the top of the driver’s head.
John said to the driver, “Would you mind if I put my hand on your head so you know that I’m with you?” He wanted to make sure the driver felt comforted and was relaxed. The driver was not visibly bleeding, but he said he couldn’t feel anything. John continued to talk to him, holding his head for the next half hour. John was the last person to talk to him. The driver passed away.
John says, “If he would have had a team, or a pet, someone would have been there for him. But for some reason it was supposed to be me that stopped that day. I was there with him when he passed away, with my hands on his head. He did not have pain in his voice, and he did not seem nervous.
His name was Abdul he told me. He heard my English accent and I heard his foreign tongue, and in that time, not race nor religion nor anything else mattered. All that mattered was that I was there for him in his last moments, and I know that means a lot to families.”
John is no stranger to helping people on the road. A year prior, he spotted a car in a ditch at 2:00 a.m. in 26-degree weather, and climbed down to discover a mother and kids in the car. He pulled them out and let them rest in his truck to keep warm until paramedics arrived. He says, “It’s just what we do. You change a tire so someone can get home. It’s always someone’s mother or grandmother or friend. It’s what we do. You’re there, you do your job, and then you disappear.”
For his willingness to assist his fellow driver, TCA has presented Mr. Weston with a certificate, patch, lapel pin, and truck decals. Challenger Motor Freight also received a certificate acknowledging their driver as a Highway Angel.
EpicVue sponsors TCA’s Highway Angel 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.