This section is dedicated to YRC employees who shine as heroes. Read their stories here.
Ohio Driver Richard Reesh saved a Pennsylvania woman from a car overturned in a swamp. Here’s his story, narrated by the woman he saved.
“I was on my way home from work on Interstate 80 about four miles from my home. I fell asleep, and when I woke up, I panicked and ran my car into a swamp. The car turned over and filled up with water. I was up to my neck in water, wedged between the two front seats with my head at the floor and my feet at the roof of the car. I could not get out of my seat belt. I was rescued by one of your drivers—Richard Reesh of New Springfield, Ohio.
“I am so thankful that he saw it happen and was so kind to call for help and to actually help me out of my seat belt by cutting it and getting me out of that car. I was not hurt, and I was very lucky. The state police said that if no one had seen me go down in the swamp, I could have been down there forever. I probably would have died. Please recognize this man for his generosity and kindness. I live in Loganton, Pa.”
Wichita Driver Helps Apprehend Violent Felon
Robert Buxton, linehaul driver from Wichita, Kan., planned to get a snack when he pulled off the highway in the early morning hours in June.
Instead, he got involved in the apprehension of a violent felon. For his heroism, the Kansas City, Mo., Police Department presented Buxton a Certificate of Appreciation in a special ceremony.
Buxton was on his regular Wichita-to-St. Louis run and was returning from STL with a trailer for Wichita and a trailer for Kansas City, Mo. He had pulled off the road near the KCM distribution center to get something to eat and drink when he saw a Kansas City police patrol car pursuing a black Camaro at a high rate of speed.
Both vehicles turned south and stopped. Then, Buxton heard several gunshots coming from the area.
“I’m thinking, man, I’ve got to get there (to the patrol car) as quick as I can,” Buxton says. “I thought, ‘they both have to be shot’. I could see the cars but I couldn’t see anything moving.”
Then, Buxton saw a man running toward him with a Tec-9, a semi-automatic handgun known to be used for drive-by shootings.
“I was getting out of the truck and my first instinct was to bluff,” says Buxton. “I started screaming and yelling.”
The man ran past Buxton to the rear of the truck with Buxton giving chase.
He followed the suspect to a chain-link fence when the suspect pointed a gun at him. He abandoned the chase at that point and the suspect hopped the fenced and continued running. Buxton ran back to the scene where he had heard the shots.
“I went back down to check on the police officer,” he says. “I knew right away he had to be down. I got back to where he was and he was conscious. He’d been shot in the leg and cut by broken glass.”
Buxton later learned that the suspect had fired 30 shots.
At about that time, Buxton says, another unit arrived accompanied by a camera crew shooting video for the network television show, “COPS”.
Buxton convinced the officer he was not a suspect and told him he knew where the real suspect had gone.
With the cameras rolling, he led them to the chain link fence. A search ensued, and the suspect was apprehended. He was charged with assault on a law enforcement officer and armed criminal action.
Further investigation revealed the man had been involved in two previous robberies and had gang ties.
Buxton says as word has spread of the incident several co-workers have praised him for his heroism and expressed disbelief for his willingness to place himself at risk.
“I didn’t have a chance to think,” he says. “I never even thought of getting back in the truck. I just wanted to bluff him.”
The truly rewarding part of the experience, Buxton says, was getting to meet the family of Sgt. Lee Malek, the wounded officer, at the awards ceremony.
“I met his wife and infant daughter,” he says. “He says, ‘this is the man who helped save daddy.’ When I heard that, it just sent chills up and down my back.”
For his performance above and beyond the call of duty, Sgt. Malek was presented a Medal of Valor and Purple Heart.
Mechanic Gregg Stone was outside the St. Louis, Mo., terminal shop working on a linehaul unit when he heard a loud noise from the highway. A car had hit the concrete divider and was on fire. He got a fire extinguisher from the shop, took it to the car and found a woman unconscious in the driver’s seat. He first got the woman out of the car and away from the burning auto, then extinguished the fire. A passing motorist called 911.
While they were waiting for the fire department to arrive, the car began to blaze again. Gregg ran back to the shop to get a larger fire extinguisher to put the second fire out. He and the person who called 911 cared for the woman until the fire department arrived.
Pickup and Delivery Driver Milton Herren was just beginning his route, making a delivery at a customer’s dock when a bee stung the receiving clerk in the neck.
Knowing she was allergic to bees, she began to panic. Milton immediately went to her aid to calm her down, afraid that if she panicked her throat would swell, cutting off her airway. He found a first-aid kit and told the clerk to hold alcohol on the sting while he called 911. Milton stayed with her until the ambulance arrived to take her to the hospital.
A week later, the clerk called the terminal to thank Milton for all he had done. The paramedics told her that if Milton had not taken quick action by putting the alcohol on the sting, the outcome could have been deadly.
YRC Southern Division
The YRC Southern Division donated $83,000 to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital to pay for renovations and new equipment in the hospital’s blood donor room. The GAR Foundation also presented a $64,000 grant.
Southern Division employees have embraced St. Jude’s Hospital as their primary philanthropy. To date, they have raised more than $160,000 for the platelet center through such efforts as Harley Davidson motorcycle, fishing boat and art raffles.
St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital treats children from around the world regardless of their ability to pay. It was the first institution established for the sole purpose of conducting research into catastrophic childhood diseases.
The hospital was founded by the late entertainer Danny Thomas. As the story goes, when Thomas’ career was developing, he was torn between continuing his career or getting a “working” job. He prayed to St. Jude, the patron saint of hopeless causes, and promised that if he made it in show business, he would build a shrine to the saint. Shortly thereafter his career took off, and he became a multimillionaire. The shrine was completed February 4, 1962.
Dave Quick, Jim Kinney and Dave Blincoe
Early one morning, a man came into the Kalamazoo, Mich., terminal and asked Toledo, Ohio, Road Driver, Jim Kinney, to pull his vehicle out of a nearby ditch. Jim couldn’t help, but offered to let him use the phone. The man became obnoxious and refused Jim’s offer, then left the terminal.
A short time later he returned and demanded that someone pull his car from the ditch. Supervisor David Blincoe, let the man use the phone and then escorted him from the building. Suspicious, David asked Jim and David Quick, Toledo, Ohio, road driver, to help him search the terminal. They found the man taking goods from the dock, cornered him and called the police.
The Raleigh, N.C., terminal had a monthly dock pickup for a local construction company. Raleigh dock supervisor Bob Wood handled one of the shipments, which was listed as crates of stained glass. Bob got suspicious when the customers told him to just drop the “stained glass” to them off the dock.
After they left, Bob checked the paperwork and found that the shipment came from California, a state that he had learned in training was notorious for narcotic transportation. Bob alerted Raleigh Terminal Manager Chris Hood, who told him to contact law enforcement officers the next time a shipment came in for them. Only two weeks passed until another shipment arrived. Bob called a drug enforcement officer whose dog detected drugs in the crates.
The police obtained a search warrant. The crates, weighing 560 lb, were filled with marijuana with a street value of more than a million dollars. The next afternoon, police arrested the customers when they came in to claim their shipment.
It was midnight on an icy Missouri highway when Springfield, Mo., Road Driver Tom McHaffie saw a van overturned in the median.
Tom parked his unit on the roadside and crossed the highway to see whether he could help. A woman, two children and their puppy were trapped inside. Tom helped them out of the van through the windshield, which had been knocked out in the accident. He got some blankets and a jacket to keep them warm, called for help and stayed with them until a highway trooper arrived.
William Dunning, a pickup and delivery driver from the Concord, N.H., YRC Freight terminal, had to deliver a brand-new, $7000 tuba to a customer’s New Hampton, N.H., home.
Unfortunately, the home is on a steep, muddy, mountain road. Dunning tried to make it up the hill in his truck, but could not. He parked his tractor-trailer at the bottom of the road, carried the tuba more than one-half mile on his back up the muddy hill and delivered it to the customer’s doorstep. Way to go William! Home delivery at its best.