ALEXANDRIA, VA — On April 5, 2013 around 4 p.m., Shelly York, a driver for ABF Freight Systems, was in his truck not too far from the ABF North Little Rock, Arkansas, terminal when he suddenly saw something fall out of the back of a pickup truck.
As he got closer, what he thought was debris was actually an eight or nine-year-old boy that had run behind the pickup truck and attempted to hoist himself up. The boy couldn’t pull himself up and fell off the back on to the road.
The boy smacked his head and back on the asphalt and was lying there in pain.
What York did next led him to become the Truckload Carriers Association’s (TCA) newest Highway Angel.
York was shocked: “[I] looked over and said to myself, ‘That’s a kid!’”
The way the boy was positioned he looked more like an inanimate object than a person, York explained. Fearing for the boy’s safety, York put on his hazards and maneuvered his truck to protect the boy from oncoming vehicles.
He then went to the next lane of traffic and began rerouting cars around the scene until emergency services arrived to tend to the child.
“In the past, I’ve helped folks who have had car trouble, but I’ve never had anything like this,” said York, who has been a truck driver for about 40 years.
The TCA’s Highway Angel program is an honor bestowed on drivers who display “unusual kindness, courtesy, and courage they have shown others while on the job.”
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