Prince of the Road

by John S.
New Jersey, USA

Prince of the RoadIt was about 1984, when cell phones weren’t in common use, and truckers were renowned for helping travelers in need. My brother was heading home from Connecticut in the wee hours of the morning. He was very tired and fell asleep at the wheel on the Merritt Parkway.

The old style guardrail ripped his car in two, folding the car in half just behind the front seats. The front wheels/axles were literally in line with the rear wheels and axles. The accident was witnessed by a trucker, who used his CB radio to call for aid.

My brother seemed pretty banged up. Police and emergency vehicles all arrived at the scene and my brother was taken to the hospital. After being x-rayed and examined at the emergency room, my brother was ready to leave. He had miraculously only sustained bruises and cuts; very minor injuries considering the accident.

My brother was looking for a phone to call home, when to his amazement he saw the trucker who had seen it all happen in the lobby waiting for him. The trucker asked him about the injuries and then asked where he lived and how he planned to get home.

My brother told the trucker he lived in New Jersey and didn’t yet know how he’d get home. He needed to find a payphone.

The trucker replied, “I’ll take you home.”

Over 100 miles later, a full size tractor-trailer rumbled into a quiet neighborhood, and the trucker made good on his word. My brother was home.

My brother offered to reward the trucker for his incredible support. Our parents’ house was very large so it was evident my father was well to do. I’m sure the trucker must have known he could get a very decent reward… if he accepted.

He did not. He refused to even be compensated for the fuel he had used. My brother headed to the house as the trucker pulled away, never to be seen or heard from again.

The incredibly kind and unselfish actions of this man have stayed with both my brother and me all these years. My brother and I have had good lives and we routinely perform random acts of kindness to this day. I was not even there and was forever moved by this man’s actions. One day, if an opportunity arises, I will give of myself as the trucker gave of himself.

I wish I had met him. I’d love to see him face to face today and tell him of the way he affected me. My deepest thanks and appreciation go to this unknown man for the help he gave my
brother — and the men he helped us become.

Originally published as HeroicStories #836 on Sep 7, 2011

4 thoughts on “Prince of the Road”

  1. Must have been on a different road.
    From Wikipedia,
    Vehicles over 8 feet (2.4 m) in height, weighing more than 8,000 pounds (3,600 kg), towing a trailer, or containing more than four wheels are not allowed on the parkway. (Under extenuating circumstances, however, ConnDOT may issue permits for oversize vehicles to use the Parkway.[1])


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