PROFESSIONAL TRUCK DRIVER SAVES FELLOW DRIVERS’ LIVES, THWARTS FIRE AT COCA COLA FACILITY
Peter Lester of Vero Beach, Florida, a professional truck driver for Carroll Fulmer Logistics Corporation of Groveland, Florida has been named a Highway Angel by the Truckload Carriers Association (TCA). He is being recognized for saving fellow truck drivers’ lives and thwarting fire at a facility.
On December 8, 2018, Lester was making an early morning delivery at the Coca Cola facility in Jacksonville, Florida. There were a few parking spots available out on the road on a residential street, so Lester pulled in there to do some paperwork as he had arrived early to the delivery. There were two trucks parked there already, and there was just enough room for Peter to back in behind the second truck. Once he got settled, he noticed a light coming from the front of the first truck and that seemed out of place. Quickly after, he noticed it was not a light, yet a flame, and he then saw smoke coming out from under the front wheels of the truck.
Acting swiftly, he pulled around and blew the horn to try and alert the driver, not knowing if someone was in the cab or not. “I pulled the airhorn to notify anyone in there and the truck in front of him as well. The flames then all broke out and more smoke came rushing out. I hit the horn again with one hand and called 911 with the other,” remembered Lester.
He pulled his truck up to the Coca Cola entrance to alert the guard and facility that there was a fire near the premises, which backs to a wooded area. By that point, luckily the fire department was on their way so he knew first responders would be able to take it from there. Although Lester never witnessed anyone jump out of the trucks, he later learned there were people in both trucks, and saw the second truck pull out to safety.
“I’ve been driving since 1984 and I’ve never seen anything blow up the way this did so quickly,” he said. “It started out looking like headlights, and then mushroomed into flames. I don’t believe the security guard would have noticed, so I am glad I pulled in when I did.”
“That event has bothered me every day ever since,” he continued. “I’m a worrier and my wife says I shouldn’t be, but you see a lot of things in this environment. And it just stays with you. So I guess we just do what we can, when we can.”
TCA proudly salutes Lester of Carroll Fulmer Logistics Corporation for his selfless act of kindness that day that helped potentially save two people’s lives, if not more.
For his willingness to assist his a fellow citizen, TCA has presented Lester with a certificate, patches, lapel pin, and truck decals. Carroll Fulmer Logistics Corporation also received a certificate acknowledging their driver as a Highway Angel.