On February 12 at about 6:45 p.m., Perez was headed westbound on I-20 near Clyde, Texas. The roads were icy, and Perez saw that an accident had recently taken place. The 33-year-old driver parked his truck just off the roadway and walked to the disabled vehicle to check on its occupants. As he was returning to his truck, an older woman driving west struck the disabled vehicle, and then hit Perez. The driver was taken to the hospital but did not survive.
"Raul was a great person and an excellent employee," says Greg Sechrist, transportation supervisor for Aquatic Trucking Co. "He was always helping others, whether asked or not, and never asked for or expected anything in return. He went above and beyond what was expected of him. I am proud to have been not only his supervisor, but his friend. He truly will be missed."
To recognize Perez for his actions, TCA has sent a Highway Angel certificate, lapel pin, and patch to Sechrist, who will present them to Perez's wife and children. The organization also mailed Sechrist a certificate that can be hung at Aquatic Trucking's office acknowledging Perez's efforts.
Since its inception in August 1997, the Highway Angels program has recognized hundreds of drivers for the kindness, courtesy, and courage they have shown others while on the job. TCA has received letters and e-mails from people across North America nominating truck drivers for the program.