PROFESSIONAL TRUCK DRIVER’S DEFENSIVE DRIVING PREVENTS A BAD SITUATION FROM GETTING WORSE
The Truckload Carriers Association (TCA) is proud to recognize David Strozewski of Amarillo, Texas, who drives for ABF Freight System, Inc., based in Fort Smith, Arkansas, as its recent Highway Angel.
On August 4, 2012, at about 10:30 a.m., Strozewski was pulling double trailers along I-40 westbound near Tucumcari, New Mexico. Near Exit 323, he came upon another commercial motor vehicle that was traveling much slower than the posted speed limit.
As he merged into the left lane to pass the other truck, the vehicle drifted into his lane and hit his tractor. Strozewski thought quickly, noting the heavy traffic flow and recognizing that the vehicle might push him further left and that both of them could wind up in the median, or even in the eastbound lanes. He decided to move his unit as far to the left as possible without leaving the roadway and maintained his direction and speed. This pushed the other truck back into the right lane, where it came to rest against a guard rail.
When police later investigated the scene, it turned out that the driver’s vehicle had lost its steering control. The driver credited Strozewski for saving his life – and probably the lives of others – by preventing him from crossing the median and potentially injuring or killing other motorists.
“I’m just glad I didn’t panic,” said Strozewski, who lost his right mirror during the sideswipe, making it harder to determine exactly what was happening. “I told myself, ‘I’m not going off this road.’ It could have been a very bad situation… he could have pushed us both into the median, or we could have flipped over. Nobody knows what would have happened.”
For his efforts that day, Strozewski has received a Highway Angel lapel pin, certificate, and patch. His company also received a certificate acknowledging that one of its drivers is a Highway Angel.
The Highway Angel program is sponsored for TCA by Internet Truckstop. Since the program’s inception in August 1997, hundreds of drivers have been recognized as Highway Angels for the unusual kindness, courtesy, and courage they have shown others while on the job. TCA has received letters and e-mails from people across North America nominating truck drivers for the program.