The Highway Angel program, managed by the Truckload Carriers Association, is an ongoing effort to recognize driver professionalism and to elevate the public's awareness of and appreciation for outstanding drivers in the trucking industry. Ruan driver Mike Johnson recently earned this prestigious award for rescuing a toddler along the side of the road in the early morning hours.
About an hour into his route at 4:05 a.m. near Laddonia, MO, last summer, Johnson said he saw something white on the edge of a ditch—he thought it was a deer. It wasn’t. Taking a closer look, Johnson realized it was a toddler wearing nothing but a diaper.
Johnson carefully pulled over to the shoulder, putting on his hazards. He got out of the truck and approached the child, but the little boy ran across the road and into a gravel parking lot. The child was visibly frightened and crying. He finally caught up to the child, picked him up, tried to comfort him, and called 911. A police officer arrived and took the child to be examined at a local hospital. Later, Johnson phoned the City Hall and learned that officials had located his mother.
For his efforts to help this small child, TCA has presented Johnson with a certificate, patch, lapel pin, and truck decals. Since the program’s inception in August 1997, hundreds of drivers have been recognized as Highway Angels for the exemplary kindness, courtesy, and courage they have displayed while on the job.