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Truckload Carriers Association and EpicVue Announce Highway Angel of the Year
2/5/2015

Two children are alive today thanks in part to the efforts of David Ragland of Kelle’s Transport Service

Alexandria, Virginia:

Photo:  William HuntAt its upcoming Annual Convention, the Truckload Carriers Association (TCA) and EpicVue will honor a Highway Angel of the Year who best embodies the spirit of the organization’s Highway Angel program. The 2014 recipient is David Ragland of Cotopaxi, Colorado, a professional truck driver with Kelle’s Transport Service of West Valley City, Utah. The recognition ceremony will take place Tuesday, March 10, 2015, at the Gaylord Palms in Kissimmee, Florida.

Ragland played a key role in saving two children’s lives after the car they were in swerved off the road, crumpled in half, turned upside down, and caught on fire. Ragland emptied his own fire extinguisher trying to smother the flames and then used another provided by someone else on the scene.

He then assisted another motorist by holding back tree branches so a baby — still alive and strapped to his car seat — could be extracted from the vehicle. Eventually, fire and rescue personnel were able to rescue a second child, although, tragically, both parents and an 8-year-old half-sister had perished.

After the August 2013 incident, Ragland kept quiet about what happened until about a year later, when his company offered a $100 prize for a Good Samaritan contest. When his story was chosen as the winner, Ragland decided not only to donate the money to the surviving children, but also to add to it with money from his own pocket. Before long, Kelle’s Transport office staff and management began to make donations – until the amount grew to $5,000 ($2,500 per child).

As the “EpicAngel,” Ragland, a veteran of the U.S. Army, will be flown to TCA’s convention, where he will be presented with a trophy saluting his willingness to stop and help that day. He will also receive a complimentary EpicVue satellite TV package that includes a 24-inch flat screen TV, a DVR, and a one-year subscription to over 100 channels of DIRECTV programming, including premium channels such as HBO, Cinemax, Showtime, and the NFL Sunday Ticket.

“EpicVue, as our new Angel partner, told us they wanted to help with a great cause – and I can’t think of a better random act of kindness than what David did for those children,” said Shepard Dunn, TCA’s 2014-15 chairman and the president and CEO of Bestway Express, Inc., of Vincennes, Indiana. “Even a year after the kids had been saved, he was still continuing to help them. He’s quite an extraordinary guy.”

Lance Platt, CEO of the Salt Lake City, Utah-based EpicVue, agrees. “One of the purposes of Highway Angels is to demonstrate to the general public the incredible things professional truck drivers do every day out on the road. Anyone who hears this story has got to be impressed — as we certainly are. Ragland truly represents the heart of what Highway Angels is all about.”

For the complete story about what Ragland did on that fateful day, visit www.truckload.org/Angel.
Since its inception in August 1997, the Highway Angels program, sponsored by EpicVue, has recognized hundreds of drivers 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.

Archival copies of past Highway Angel press releases can be found at www.truckload.org/newsroom. To learn more about the program or to nominate a driver, go to www.truckload.org/highway-angel. You can also follow the Angel Facebook page at http://on.fb.me/tcanews or search the hashtag #HighwayAngel on social media networks.

In August of 2014, Ragland was recognized during a press conference and was able to meet one of the young children he helped to save and his family. To view photos from the event, and additional photos of Ragland as they become available, click here.


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