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Professional Truck Driver Stops Suicide Attempt; Named Highway Angel by the Truckload Carriers Association
Tim Case knew that talking was the only way to buy time until help could arrive
The Truckload Carriers Association (TCA) is pleased to name U.S. Navy veteran Tim Case as a Highway Angel. Case, a professional truck driver with Tennant Truck Lines, Inc., of Colona, Illinois, resides in Hampton, Virginia. He is being recognized for his role in talking someone out of a suicide attempt.
It was mid-morning on November 13, 2014, a very cold day. Case had just picked up a load and was crossing the Burlington Bridge on Rt. 34 between Iowa and Illinois. As he began to cross, he saw someone moving in his peripheral vision. The individual was on the water side of the guard rail.
For a fleeting moment, he thought it might have been a construction worker, but then he realized it was someone contemplating jumping off the bridge. Knowing that the bridge was at least 75-80 feet high and that there was frigid water and possibly ice below, he stopped his truck and ran back, discovering a woman who turned out to be in her mid- to late-20’s.
The woman was now sitting where the tension cable hooked to the bridge. Case asked her to reconsider what he called “a permanent solution to a temporary problem.” She talked to him a little, saying her life wasn’t going the way she had hoped it would. Case responded that “life is like the sun – one minute it’s up, and the next it’s down… you have to take the good with the bad.” He asked her to think of all the people she would hurt by killing herself, and he told her that “life is not a problem to solve, but a mystery to live.”
Case managed to keep the woman talking until the police arrived. Eventually, she stepped back from the edge to safety and went with them.
According to Case, “The part that surprised me was when the police officer looked at me and said, ‘We got a phone call from somebody who saw a person climbing out over the bridge.’ Knowing that no one else had come to help but me, I said to him, ‘They didn’t stop?’ He said, ‘No. Why did you?’”
Case laughed as he recounted the story, and then continued: “I just did what I thought was the right thing to do. My instinct kicked in. I was concerned about a life getting ready to end. How would I feel if I heard about it on the news that night and knew that I could have helped, but didn’t? It was just the right thing to do.”
For his selfless efforts to help the woman, TCA has presented Case with a certificate, patch, lapel pin, and truck decal. Tennant Truck Lines, Inc., also received a certificate acknowledging that one of its drivers is 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.
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.