A U.S. Xpress driver from Georgia has been honored for his efforts to aid the victim of a crash on a mountain pass in Tennessee.
The Truckload Carriers Association recently named truck driver Jacob Picklesimer, from Resaca, Georgia, a Highway Angel for stopping to help a man who crashed his car in a ditch hours earlier and was stranded on a mountain pass. Picklesimer drives for U.S. Xpress out of Chattanooga, TNennessee.
On July 26, 2023, Picklesimer was driving in Polk County, Tennessee on Highway 64 through the Ocoee River gorge. Around 6:45 a.m., he noticed a man sitting with his back toward traffic on the white line of the two-lane highway.
“This seemed a little different,” Picklesimer said, so he pulled off the road about 50 yards from where the man was located. “I went back there and the first thing I asked was, 'Are you OK?'"
It turned out the man had wrecked his car in a nearby ditch about four hours earlier and lost his phone in the accident. His car rolled on its side and he had climbed out the passenger window to escape around 3 a.m. The crash victim had no way to contact anyone to help and had given up on anyone stopping. He had pain from potentially broken ribs and his dog that was in the car with him had died in the accident, Picklesimer said.
“I can’t believe that nobody stopped,” he said. “It would only take a minute to stop and roll down your window and say ‘Hey, do you need to use a phone or something?’ I wouldn’t want to sit out there by myself with my dead dog for four hours. I just felt really bad for him.”
Picklesimer offered the man his phone, who then tried calling his wife and then his father, and then they called an ambulance. The trucker and the injured man waited together on the side of the road, as cars continued to zoom by. The crash victim and his father were grateful that someone stopped to help. For his part, Picklesimer said he didn’t hesitate to stop and check on the man.
“This is normal behavior for me—I didn’t think I was doing anything,” Picklesimer said.
Since the program’s inception in August 1997, nearly 1,300 professional truck drivers have been recognized as Highway Angels for exemplary kindness, courtesy, and courage displayed while on the job. Thanks to the program’s presenting sponsor, EpicVue, and supporting sponsor, DriverFacts, TCA is able to showcase outstanding drivers like Picklesimer.