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Motorcyclist Owes His Life to a TCA Highway Angel
Mark Randall anticipated the worst – and when it finally happened, his preparation paid off
The Truckload Carriers Association (TCA) is pleased to name Mark Randall of Mesquite, Nevada, a professional driver trainer for Werner Enterprises of Omaha, Nebraska, as its latest Highway Angel. Randall is being recognized for taking preventive measures that ultimately saved a life.
On October 24, 2012, around 1:30 p.m., Randall and a student were headed westbound on I-80/680 in Omaha, Nebraska. With only two miles to go before dropping off a load, Randall was at the wheel. He stayed within the speed limit of 60 mph and made a mental note of the considerable traffic all around him.
To his right and up ahead, Randall noticed a motorcyclist who appeared to be following much too close to the car in front of him. He was also traveling about 60 mph. Randall’s safety instincts kicked in, and he began to slow down.
“I always make a big point of being aware of my surroundings when I’m operating these vehicles,” said Randall, who was recently recognized by his company for a million miles of accident-free driving and also received Werner’s Humanitarian Award for his actions that day. “I pay good attention. In fact, I was just about to make my student aware of the possible hazard ahead when the motorcyclist suddenly accelerated and attempted to pass the car. But he was just too close and hit the rear of that vehicle.”
Randall immediately began scanning the lanes for a way to get out of the path of the doomed motorcyclist. Surrounded by traffic, he knew that he could not suddenly switch lanes without putting other vehicles in danger. His only viable option was to stay put and maintain control of the tractor trailer, which was fully loaded with thousands of pounds of tires. As if in slow motion, Randall saw the motorcyclist hit the pavement hard and slide directly into his path. He immediately put on his flashers and continued to brake, finally coming to a controlled stop — within 10 feet of the man on the pavement.
The student got out to render aid, while Randall called 911. The motorcyclist had survived and was miraculously okay. Not only had Randall managed to avoid hitting the man, but he is also credited for using his truck to protect the motorcyclist from being run over by the oncoming traffic hurtling toward him at 60 mph.
At the accident scene, the responding state patrol officer made a joke, saying that the motorcyclist had been incredibly lucky that day and should probably continue that luck by purchasing some lottery tickets. Another officer responded, “How does someone crash a motorcycle in four lanes of traffic doing 60 miles per hour and not get killed or run over?”
Feeling triumphant at what had just happened, Randall turned, pointed to his big blue truck, and said, “Because THAT truck stopped, and he was lucky to fall in front of ME!”
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.