The Truckload Carriers Association recently honored a Canadian truck driver for helping prevent a man from jumping off a bridge onto the roadway below.
Bruno Filipe Da Costa Raposo, a driver for Bison Transport from Montreal, Quebec, was named a Highway Angel for his efforts.
Raposo was on Highway 287 near Amarillo, Texas in the late morning hours of Aug. 24 when he saw something on a bridge up ahead. As he got closer, he realized the figure was a man about to jump off onto the roadway. As Raposo approached, he put on his 4-way flashers, pulled over to the shoulder, and stopped about 50 feet from the bridge. He waited until there was a break in traffic and then positioned his truck and trailer to block the highway and stop traffic. He got out and went to talk with the man who was sitting on the edge of the bridge above him. “He told me he had lost his job, his wife had left him, and his kids didn’t want to see him anymore,” recalled Raposo. He tried to empathize with the man and told him about the difficult times he had had in his own life. “I was trying to distract him,” he said. “Those few minutes felt like half an hour.”
Then the man stood up and looked as though he were going to jump. “It felt like things were going in slow motion,” said Raposo. “I pleaded with him to talk a little bit more. I wanted him to listen to me, to let time pass until the police arrived. I kept looking (around) and wondering, where are the cops?” A few minutes later, a police officer arrived, having been alerted about Raposo’s truck stopped across the roadway. When he realized what was going on, he called for backup. Just a short time later, Raposo saw police officers on the bridge approaching the man. They spoke with him for a few minutes and were able to convince him to move back from the edge of the bridge.
Raposo said he awoke early that morning, unable to sleep. “I had an uneasy feeling,” he remembered. “I thought that something was going to happen that day.” He recalled that as he approached the bridge a few hours later, his hands began to shake. Afterward, when he got back in his truck, he decided he needed to take a break. “It was emotional,” he said. “I couldn’t focus on the road.” He drove to a safe spot where he could get out and walk around to clear his head.
Raposo’s family moved to Montreal, Quebec from São Miguel, Azores, Portugal when he was young. He learned French at school and learned English by listening to the radio at home. Today, he and his wife, Stéphanie, have two young children and are expecting their third child.
For his willingness to assist a fellow driver, TCA has presented Raposo with a certificate, patch, lapel pin, and truck decals. His employer has also received a certificate acknowledging their driver as a Highway Angel.
Since the program’s inception in August 1997, nearly 1,300 professional truck drivers have been recognized as Highway Angels for the exemplary kindness, courtesy, and courage they have displayed while on the job.