Today USA CDL is shining a positive light on some drivers who have recently distinguished themselves as individuals and as representatives of the truck driving industry.
First we bring you the story of a truck driving hero who would have probably remained anonymous if his son had not put a video of his heroic act on YouTube. You might have seen this story on Good Morning America, or you might have been one of the 1.4 million people who have viewed the YouTube video footage from the Truck’s Dash Cam.
The story begins with David Fredericksen and his co-driver, Walter Letterman, driving their usual route from Lake Wales, Florida, to California, on Aug. 11. As David took the wheel from his partner on Interstate 10, just north of Gulfport, Mississippi, the traffic seemed quite normal.
A Truck Driver Hero Conquers Fire and Twisted Metal!
Soon, however they saw a surrealistic scene just ahead of them. A car that was attempting to merge with the traffic careened out of control, slammed into an 18 wheeler and burst into flaming wreckage.
Other vehicles stopped on each side of the road, but no one ventured near the flaming car until Fredericksen leapt out of his cab and fought the fire with an extinguisher. He pacified the flames long enough to wrench open the burning door and extract a tiny, terrified one-year old girl from the back seat.
As if suddenly unfrozen, other onlookers gained the courage to approach the fire, and they extricated the child’s grandmother from the front seat.
“We thought the people were dead,” said Fredericksen. “I was just praying that they were alive. I figured if they were dead, I could at least put the fire out.”
The victims were not dead, and “they escaped relatively unharmed,” according to Gulfport police, “as did the driver of the 18-wheeler hit by the car.”
Fredericksen stated, “I don’t feel like a hero; I feel like a Good Samaritan.” He added, simply, “I was praying that the people were all right.”
There are a great many people who have dubbed him the “hero trucker.” Fredericksen, father of four sons, has been driving the big rigs for four years. He commented that he was “happy for any positive light the incident might shine on truck drivers.”
“We’re often the first responders,” he said of the Knights of the Road, as truckers are frequently named. “We get out of the truck with the fire extinguishers and the first-aid kits and try to help people until the police and firemen get there.”
For obvious reasons, the USA CDL Driving School Blog presents their quiet award, entitled “Eighteen Wheels and A Dozen Roses,” to David Frederickson.
Our award is no trophy or treasure, but just our quiet applause and the pride within our hearts.
We are sure there are many more hero-truckers out there whose story we never hear. Our honors go out to those heroes with no names.
Champion Trucks On Display at the Great American Trucking Show!
Another type of pride and positivity was demonstrated this month in this year’s Overdrive Pride and Polish National Championship Competition. “Small fleet owners Bill Rethwisch and Vinnie Dirorio will be taking home Overdrive’s Pride & Polish National Championship trophies for the second straight year, along with two other perennial Pride & Polish competitors and owner-operators Bob Brinker and Austin Ashley.”
August 23, at The Great American Trucking Show in Dallas, twenty competing rigs endured a rigorous round of judging to select the annual winners.
If you love trucks, you owe it to yourself to take a look at the photographs of the winning rigs, and read the roster of award winners.
We warn you, if you are considering a career in trucking, the sight of these powerful beauties might be enough to bring you into a driving program. We know you will be inspired.
We thank you for reading our blog this week, and we invite you to peruse the informative pages of this website for further information as USA CDL Driving School continues to shine a positive light on the truck driving industry.