LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Six years ago, a stubborn driver was shot in the leg after he tried to stop an armed gunman from hijacking his truck.
After narrowly escaping with his life, but severely injured, Donald Turkelson was taken to a hospital where he underwent surgery. The retired lieutenant colonel from the US army subsequently received extensive physical therapy. During a long recovery period, the Battle Creek, Mich. resident considered his future and decided to make some changes.
Turkelson served for about five years as a United Methodist Church pastor, while also working as a truck driving instructor at Lansing Community College. Despite the rewarding experience of serving for a community, the post-trucking jobs had not given Turkelson the kind of career satisfaction he had enjoyed before the hijack.
It’s a gripping story that caught the attention of Arrow Truck Sales, part of the Volvo Group of companies, which sponsored the “Back On The Road 2008” contest. After much deliberation, the committee members sympathized with Turkelson’s plight, and selected him as this year’s winner. The award was announced at last week’s Mid-America Trucking Show.
“Donald has an amazing story to tell and a great spirit,” said Carl Heikel, the president and CEO of Arrow Truck, at the MATS award ceremony. “Arrow is proud to give him the opportunity to get back on the road with a quality truck from Volvo and a job from Heartland Express.”
As winner the of this year’s contest, a prize worth approximately $60,500, Turkelson should be well-prepared to re-start his trucking career. He will receive: a 2005 VNL 670 tractor donated by Volvo Trucks North America; a one-year work agreement with Heartland Express; a three-year 300,000 mile warranty, courtesy of National Truck Protection; insurance provided by the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers’ Association; business consulting and financial tools from American Truck Business Services; truck detailing provided by Dickinson Fleet Services; tires courtesy of Michelin truck accessories; and fenders provided by Minimizer Products. It’s a generous prize and a career opportunity, that’s well appreciated.
“I’m honoured to be chosen as the winner of Back On The Road,” said Turkelson. “For many years I’ve been unable to drive full-time and I’m looking forward to once again doing what I love – working full-time as a driver who is helping the American economy by delivering goods and services.”
Turkelson will not only be back on the job, his travels and journals can be read on the web at: www.backontheroad2008.com.
Arrow Truck’s Back On The Road contest is an initiative designed to benefit a deserving independent owner-operator in need of a truck and a job. To enter, people are encouraged to submit stories about deserving friends, family members, associates and even themselves for this prize, considered an “opportunity of a lifetime” according to Arrow.
Truck News is Canada's leading trucking newspaper - news and information for trucking companies, owner/operators, truck drivers and logistics professionals working in the Canadian trucking industry. All posts by Truck News