DRIVER SAVES MAN’S LIFE AT TRUCK STOP
The Truckload Carriers Association (TCA) is pleased to name Danny Hodges, an owner operator leased to National Distributors Leasing, Inc., of Sellersburg, Indiana, as a Highway Angel.
On June 5, 2011, Hodges was having his truck fixed at a truck stop in Laredo, Texas. It was a very hot day, with temperatures reaching a sweltering 104 degrees. From inside the maintenance facility, while discussing his truck’s condition with the mechanics, Hodges happened to glance toward the fuel pumps. He saw a man staggering around.
At first, he thought the man must be drunk, but when he saw him lean against a pole and fall over, Hodges realized that a heart attack was occurring. Running over to the man — a fellow truck driver — he felt for a pulse. There was none. The man felt cold and clammy.
Hodges dragged the man into some shade and then began performing chest compressions. Numerous bystanders stood and watched, but no one helped. After 3-5 minutes, the man briefly revived and looked at Hodges, but then his pulse stopped again. After another 15 minutes, this pattern repeated. Hodges continued to toil in the heat, down on his knees on the burning pavement. Several of the bystanders advised Hodges to give up, reminding him that there could be potential liability issues if the man died.
“There’s just no way I was going to give up on him,” Hodges later said. “My wife and I have a saying: ‘Failure is not an option.’ I was determined to keep going until emergency responders got there.”
Hodges continued on, sometimes reviving the man and sometimes losing his pulse again. After a total of 40 minutes, paramedics arrived and took the man to the hospital, where he eventually recovered. Both the ambulance driver and a doctor at the hospital stated that Hodge’s efforts single-handedly saved the man’s life. A representative from the truck stop wrote a letter to National Distributors Leasing praising Hodges for his efforts, and the man that Hodges saved later called him to express his own emotional thanks.
“Here’s the weird part of the story,” Hodges told TCA. “Two days before, I had a dream that I was in a garage at a truck stop and a fellow driver came inside. He asked me, ‘Do you know CPR? Because I think I’m having a heart attack.’ I think it was a vision telling me that I needed to be ready.”
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.