Jon “AZ” Atzenhofer, a resident of Oklahoma City, Okla., has been named a Highway Angel by the Truckload Carriers Association. This is the second time this professional truck driver has earned his Angel wings. Atzenhofer, who drives for FTC Transportation, also of Oklahoma City, is being recognized for taking the time to stop and help an accident victim.
On June 4, 2013, at about 7 a.m., Atzenhofer was traveling westbound on I-40, about 10 miles west of Santa Rosa, N.M. Suddenly, a small passenger car that was driving eastbound flipped 2 to 3 times, coming to a stop upright on the median. All of the vehicles in front of Atzenhofer kept going, but he felt compelled to stop. Atzenhofer called 911, grabbed his gloves, and ran to the scene, where he found that all of the windows were blown out except – ironically – the one on the driver’s side.
The door would not open, so Atzenhofer pulled the window out. He discovered that the driver was breathing, but not conscious. Not knowing the extent of the injuries, he decided to leave the driver in place until emergency personnel arrived. As a proactive measure, Atzenhofer used a knife to cut the seat belt, just in case he should need to pull the victim out quickly. When another person stopped to help, they were able to pry the door open and stood ready to remove the still unconscious driver if need be. Atzenhofer stayed with the victim until the authorities took over.
Atzenhofer, who has been driving since 1988, has helped several motorists throughout his driving career. When asked about this incident, he said, “You just can’t bypass things like that, or at least I don’t!”
Last year, Atzenhofer was honored as a Highway Angel for performing CPR on a man who was having a heart attack at a truck stop.
For his willingness to stop and help, Atzenhofer has received a Highway Angel lapel pin, certificate and patch. FTC Transportation also received a certificate acknowledging that one of its drivers is a Highway Angel.
TCA’s Highway Angel program is sponsored by Internet Truckstop. Since the program’s inception in August 1997, hundreds of drivers have been recognized as Highway Angels for the unusual kindness, courtesy, and courage they have shown others while on the job.
To nominate a driver or learn more about the program and its honorees, visit the Highway Angel website at http://www.truckload.org/Highway-Angel.