This quarter's Trucker to Trucker is from professional driver, Jaxon Allen, and is an amazing story. We hope you will take the time to read it.
My 19-year-old daughter had a week off from work and decided to spend a few days with me out on the road. We were having a wonderful time, enjoying the sights, as we made our way out to the West Coast. My truck began overheating in northern Arizona, leaving my daughter and I stranded on the highway while we awaited assistance from a road service company. We decided to stretch our legs while we waited and jumped out of the truck for a walk. It was a hot afternoon in June, and I began to lag behind as my daughter power-walked.
No sooner did we get back to the truck, when an Arizona Highway Patrolman pulled up behind us and flipped on his lights. He asked me what was going on, and I explained that the truck was overheating. He asked me for my identification and paperwork, then asked my daughter for her ID as well. He questioned both of us, and I was beginning to get irritated. I was already worried about being late to drop off my load and stressed about the truck’s mechanical issues.
The patrolman then explained to me that a passing trucker had made a phone call to a trafficking hotline and was directed by the hotline to call 911. The driver made the call, expressing concern that a possible trafficking situation was taking place. My daughter is only 5 feet tall and petite and is often mistaken for being younger than 19. The other driver had seen us walking, and it appeared as though my daughter was trying to walk away while I was pursuing her.
Hearing that another driver had taken the time and initiative to help a stranger completely turned this situation around. My feelings of irritation and annoyance turned to gratitude. Had my daughter been in trouble, this driver would have surely saved her life. The driver had no idea whether or not she was in danger, but made the decision to stand up for a stranger. The patrolman also took the time to thoroughly investigate the situation, again ensuring that my daughter was indeed safe.
I am grateful to Truckers Against Trafficking for educating this driver to recognize potential trafficking indicators. I am grateful to my fellow driver for making the call, and I am grateful to the hotline representative and to the highway patrolman for investigating this incident. The trucking community is mounting a defense against trafficking, and I am proud to be on the frontlines of this fight. I am a former U.S. Marine, and we never leave anyone behind!