Truckload Carriers Association and EpicVue Name 2017 Highway Angel of the Year: John Weston of Challenger Motor Freight


Professional truck driver is honored for two separate heroic acts of kindness

Kissimmee, Florida:

John Weston, a professional driver for Challenger Motor Freight, has been named the 2017 Highway Angel of the Year by the Truckload Carriers Association (TCA) and its partner EpicVue. In two separate incidents, he comforted a fellow truck driver in his final moments, as well as helped a family who crashed into a ditch in 26-degree weather. Weston was recognized during Monday’s general session at TCA’s 80th Annual Convention in Kissimmee, Florida.

On Friday morning, October 27, 2017, John Weston had finished a load and was driving on 401 East back to the yard when he came across a high-speed rear end collision involving two semi-tractor trailers. John pulled over to the shoulder and approached the accident. He found the second vehicle was entangled into the back of the first trailer. There were no emergency services on the scene at this point and other vehicles continued to drive past the accident.

He checked in the cab of the first truck and saw that the two drivers were unharmed, so he went back to the rear truck. There was debris and glass scattered across the road. He found the driver upside down still strapped to his seat and unable to move in the mangled cab. The driver called out, “Open the door! Open the door!” But there was no door anymore. John could only see the top of the driver’s head.

John said to the driver, “Would you mind if I put my hand on your head so you know that I’m with you?” He wanted to make sure the driver felt comforted and was relaxed. The driver was not visibly bleeding, but he said he couldn’t feel anything. John continued to talk to him, holding his head for the next half hour. John was the last person to talk to him. The driver passed away.

A year prior, he spotted a car in a ditch at 2:00 a.m. in 26-degree weather, and climbed down to discover a mother and kids in the car. He pulled them out and let them rest in his truck to keep warm until paramedics arrived. He says, “It’s just what we do. You change a tire so someone can get home. It’s always someone’s mother or grandmother or friend. It’s what we do. You’re there, you do your job, and then you disappear.”

Lance Platt, CEO of EpicVue, said during the award presentation, “John Weston is the epitome of a beautiful stranger, a light on the darkest night, a true Highway Angel.”

The Highway Angel program, now in its 21st year, recognizes professional truck drivers who have selflessly helped others while on the job. From each year’s Angels, one is selected as Highway Angel of the Year because he or she best embodies the spirit of the program.

During the award ceremony, Platt presented Weston with a trophy, 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. Then, Nashville recording artist Lindsay Lawler, the official spokesperson of the Highway Angel program, sang her song “Highway Angel.”