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Professional Truck Driver Reports Suspicious Activity; Saves Woman Forced into Prostitution
Kevin Kimmel named TCA Highway Angel for being alert and acting on his gut instinct
The Truckload Carriers Association (TCA) is pleased to name its latest Highway Angel: Kevin Kimmel of Tavares, Florida. Kimmel, a professional truck driver for Con-way Truckload of Joplin, Missouri, is being recognized for making the phone call that resulted in saving an abducted woman.
On the morning of January 6, 2015, Kimmel was finished making some night deliveries and had pulled into a New Kent, Virginia, truck stop to sleep. Two spots over, he noticed an RV that seemed suspicious. For one thing, its windows were blacked out, and then he saw a man walking back and forth several times between the RV and the truck stop’s convenience store. It seemed odd, and the thought of a prostitution situation crossed his mind.
Then a young girl’s face appeared in the window briefly. Suddenly, she was gone, almost like she had been yanked away by someone inside. The behavior struck Kimmel as odd.
When another tractor trailer pulled into the empty spot between Kimmel and the RV, blocking his view, Kimmel decided to ask that driver to keep his eye out. However, as he got ready for bed, he noticed that the driver next to him had pulled his blinds down as if he was also going to sleep. The whole thing continued to bother Kimmel, so he decided to call the police.
“It was just a situation that didn’t feel right, and I figured I would either put a damper on someone’s vacation for 15 minutes or make a difference with one phone call,” said Kimmel.
However, it turned out that Kimmel’s instincts were right on the money: the girl had been abducted from Iowa two weeks before. The newspapers would later report that she was a victim of human trafficking and had been forced into prostitution.
Kimmel can’t say too much about the story because he is now a witness to an FBI investigation, but he did comment: “I saw what looked to me like a young girl in a lot of trouble. This job gives us [professional truck drivers] the opportunity to be aware and make a difference by making one phone call. I hope anyone would do the same if it were my kids.”
For his willingness to act on his instincts, TCA has presented Kimmel with a certificate, patch, lapel pin, and truck decal. Con-way Truckload also received a certificate acknowledging that one of its drivers is a Highway Angel.
TCA's Highway Angel program is sponsored by EpicView. 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.
To nominate a driver or learn more about the program and its honorees, visit the Highway Angel Web page at http://www.truckload.org/Highway-Angel or Facebook page at http://on.fb.me/tcanews. For additional information, contact TCA at (703) 838-1950 or email@example.com.
As a side note to this story, TCA wants readers to know that training is available for interested parties who want to learn how to recognize the signs of human trafficking and report what they discover to the proper authorities. Anyone – not just professional truck drivers – can visit www.truckloadacademy.org/TAT and take a free, online certification course offered by TCA and Truckers Against Trafficking, a nonprofit organization that educates, equips, empowers, and mobilizes members of the trucking and truck plaza industries to combat domestic sex trafficking. For more information about Truckers Against Trafficking, please visit www.TruckersAgainstTrafficking.org.