The Truckload Carriers Association added a new name to its roster of Highway Angels. Steven Huett of Orion, Ill., a professional truck driver for Tennant Truck Lines of Colona, Ill., is being recognized for helping a fellow truck driver survive a medical emergency.
On June 26, Huett was driving along Highway 50 near Peabody, Kan., when he came upon another Tennant truck parked on the side of the road. Knowing that Tennant’s home terminal was hundreds of miles away, he stopped to see if the driver needed any help.
The man inside the vehicle, Jackie Kinley, said he had been working all day and now felt very hot. He had pulled over to cool down, but did not seem to be getting any better. Kinley was wringing his hands and rubbing his left arm. Huett asked if he was experiencing a tingling sensation in his fingertips and was told “yes.”
Recognizing the signs of heart trouble, Huett quickly called 911 and gave Kinley aspirin and water while waiting for emergency personnel to arrive. During the 10 minutes it took for authorities to arrive, Kinley’s condition deteriorated significantly. He was clearly in great physical distress by the time he was rushed away by ambulance.
With Kinley now getting the medical attention that he needed, Huett turned his attention to the equipment the man had been driving. He drove the rig to Peabody, secured it in a protected location, and then asked a police officer to return him to his own truck. He drove to the hospital – and then to a second hospital because Kinley had been transferred – until he found his fellow driver. Kinley was just being wheeled out of surgery and was able to briefly thank Huett for saving his life.
“When I was a new driver, more than 40 years ago, an old guy I looked up to told me it doesn’t matter where you are, you never drive by one of your own trucks parked on the side of the road,” said Huett. “I’ve lived by that ever since, and this time, it paid off. Kinley is only one year older than me. I am so glad he’s going to be okay.”
For his efforts that day, Huett has received a Highway Angel lapel pin, certificate and patch. Tennant Truck Lines 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.