Garvey, who drives for Epes Transport System Inc., of Greensboro, N.C., was driving along I-85/I-40 near Greensboro, N.C., the morning of Aug. 19 on his way to make a delivery. Traffic was very heavy, and up ahead, he heard horns honking and saw vehicles maneuvering around something.
It turned out to be a woman whose car engine had stalled and would not turn back on. The woman was in tears because she was stuck in the middle of heavy traffic with horns blaring at her. No one was stopping to help.
After passing her, Garvey pulled over, walked back to the scene, and pushed the woman's vehicle onto the shoulder. He then calmed her down, telling her which way she was headed, where the closest exit was, and other pertinent information. At one point, he even walked back to his truck to check the GPS, wanting to be certain he had provided the correct details. He stayed with the woman until she managed to reach her brother on a cell phone.
The next day, the woman wrote a letter to Epes Transport praising Garvey for his assistance during her stressful ordeal.
"He was really like an angel," she said. "He could have possibly saved my life. Who knows how long it would have taken for someone to run right into me? I offered to pay him for his trouble, but he politely refused. He was a gentleman who went out of his way to help me. It is a rare thing in this day and time for someone to get involved."
Garvey, who retired from the U.S. Army two years ago after a 20-year career, says that helping people is the "military thing to do."
"I can't believe how cold-hearted some people are," he said, referring to the many motorists who saw what happened but kept on driving. "She was clearly frustrated. I just couldn't leave her stranded in that danger zone."
For his efforts to help the woman, Garvey has received a Highway Angel lapel pin, certificate, and patch. Epes Transport System also received a certificate acknowledging that one of its drivers is a Highway Angel.
To learn more about the Highway Angel program or to nominate a driver, go to www.truckload.org/highway-angel or visit the Angel Facebook page at