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TCA Highway Angel Calls for Help after Fellow Driver Suffers Stoke

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For Immediate Release
February 12, 2016

Contact: Deborah Sparks, Vice President, Development
(703) 838-1950 or dsparks@truckload.org


TCA Highway Angel Calls for Help after Fellow Driver Suffers Stoke




Doug Andrus Distributing LLC driver named TCA Highway Angel for quickly noticing the signs of a stroke and seeking help


ALEXANDRIA, Va. – Joel Dees, a resident of Port Orchard, Washington, has been named a Highway Angel by the Truckload Carriers Association (TCA). Dees, who drives for Doug Andrus Distributing LLC, of Idaho Falls, Idaho, is being recognized for his quick action in saving a fellow profesional truck drivers' life after she suffered a stroke while alone in her truck.


3192891455290136147.jpgOn the morning of March 1, 2015, Dees started his day in Illinois heading for Sidney, Nebraska.  Just the day before he had been talking with another driver for Doug Andrus Distributing LLC who told him that she would be parking in Sidney for the night. They agreed that Dees would call her in the morning when he was loaded and on the road.


“I called her a couple of times and she did not answer,” said Dees.  After several attempts there was finally an answer. “I thought she had forgotten to put on her headset so I was rousing her to stop fumbling,” he stated.  A sense of concern then crept over him when Dees did not hear her voice but instead a slurring sound. Dees listened closely and thought he heard her say the word "help". At this point, Dees knew something was terribly wrong.


Dees immediately dialed 911. “She and I talk daily while we are out on the road,” said Dees, “I knew from previous conversations that she had a history of strokes.” After speaking with the Iowa and Nebraska 911 operators and relaying his concerns, an officer was immediately dispatched to the area where the truck was to be parked. Dees stayed on the phone nervously waiting. “I listened as the officer confirmed my suspicion that [the driver] had a stroke while alone in her truck,” he said. Dees immediately notified Doug Andrus Distributing LLC and the drivers' family to explain what had happened and where she was being treated. 


All parties involved were extremely grateful for his quick thinking in this emergency situation.


Dees has been driving for 6 years and makes it a point to stay in touch with other fellow drivers thoughout his day.


For his willingness to help, TCA has presented Dees with a certificate, patch, lapel pin, and truck decal. Doug Andrus Distributing LLC also received a certificate acknowledging one of its drivers as a Highway Angel.


TCA’s Highway Angel program is sponsored by EpicVue. 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.



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TCA is the only national trade association whose collective sole focus is the truckload segment of the motor carrier industry. The association represents dry van, refrigerated, flatbed, and intermodal container carriers operating in the 48 contiguous states, as well as Alaska, Mexico, and Canada. Representing operators of more than 200,000 trucks, which collectively produce annual revenue of more than $20 billion, TCA is an organization tailored to specific truckload carrier needs.

In 2013, EpicVue was formed by individuals with years of combined experience in the trucking and satellite television industries. With the understanding that television often fulfills the human need for connection and helps to counteract loneliness on the road or feelings of isolation, EpicVue designed a TV viewing package specifically for commercial fleets. The EpicVue satellite TV package is now used by many over-the-road truckload carriers as a successful recruiting and retention tool for drivers.



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