PROFESSIONAL TRUCK DRIVER EARNS TCA HIGHWAY ANGEL WINGS FOR HELPING AUTHORITIES LOCAL MISSING ELDERLY MAN
The Truckload Carriers Association has named Kirk Szecsodi, from Winnipeg, Manitoba, a Highway Angel for his alertness that led to successfully locating a missing elderly man.
Fate was shining its face on Szecsodi the day he saw a Silver Alert on a digital highway sign on U.S. 287 near Waco, Texas. Silver Alerts help locate vulnerable adults who go missing. “It said it was an elderly man driving a black Dodge Charger,” recalled Szecsodi. He jotted down the vehicle make and model and the license plate number. “I’d always thought it’d be cool to help find someone,” he shared. A few hours later, he stopped at the Love’s Truck Stop in Quanah, Texas for his half-hour break. “I went inside for a while and as I was walking out the front door, this elderly man held the door open for me.” Szecsodi thanked him and then saw the man walk toward a black Dodge Charger. He says the license plate number rang a bell. He ran back inside and grabbed a piece of paper. “I only got part of the license plate number,” he said. “But I thought that might be the guy.”
After getting back in his truck, Szecsodi saw that the license plate number matched what he had taken down earlier. “That was the guy!” he exclaimed when recounting the day. “I called the police and told them I had seen him in a black Charger heading toward Amarillo.” The police called him back about 20 minutes later to thank him and said they found the man and he was safe. Szecsodi is still in disbelief about his luck.
“It’s incredible that the very person on the Silver Alert was standing right there holding the door for me! That was the most bizarre part,” he said. He’s relieved that things worked out well.
TCA has presented him with a certificate, patch, lapel pin, and truck decals. His employer has also received a certificate acknowledging their driver 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.