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Roses & Razzberries

A critically hurt 4-year-old spent up to six hours trapped in an overturned car with her fatally injured mother before a trucker passing by spotted the wreckage last month in Athens, OH. A ROSE to Jimmie Withem, an Athens man who owns an excavating company, who was driving his truck when he spotted a car lying on its top in a ravine along Route 13, just north of Athens. Withem and his brother stopped and went into the ravine, only to find a car with doors caved in. They tried to get into the car with a crowbar but were unsuccessful, so Withem kicked out a window. He could see the woman was dead, but found an injured child who was alert and began talking to him.

Tina Seehafer was killed in the single-car crash and her daughter, Marah Williams, was alive when the truckers found the wreckage. Withem’s brother went to call the Highway Patrol. Withem couldn’t see the little girl because the car was crushed, so he lay on the ground beside the car to talk to the child to keep her from losing consciousness. “It was hard to find the right words to keep her going,” Withem told The Columbus Dispatch. “It was the most helpless I’ve ever felt in my life.”

Couldn’t truckers at least have a Port-a-Potty? RAZZBERRIES to the Tootsie Roll Co. in Chicago for their policy on restroom facilities for truckers. A driver reported to LL that truckers are told to go find a restroom in the mall next door, or use the facility at Kentucky Fried Chicken around the corner and down one block. Keep in mind, this distressing story was reported in February and we cringed to think of a trucker walking a half-mile to the restroom in a 10-degree below zero wind-chill... So LL called Tootsie Roll and after some prodding, found a Tootsie Roll person who would talk to us. This person verified it was true and that when the company relocated their docks it didn’t include a restroom because the one at their old place got trashed daily.

ROSES to Barr-Nunn Transportation in Granger, IA, who jumped on the bandwagon when the Iowa State football team earned a trip to the Bowl. Due to costs, the 270-member marching band does not usually attend “away” games, but Barr-Nunn agreed to donate a tractor-trailer and driver to haul the band’s equipment to and from the bowl game. ROSES to driver Carroll Paulson, a big Cyclone fan himself, who gave up Christmas at home to drive the rig to Phoenix.

LL reader Dan Scego wrote in to say he hasn’t had much luck in getting a decent breakfast or supper at a Flying J or Rip Griffin lately and wanted to give the two truckstops a RAZZBERRY. Scego blasts the Flying J near Moriarty, NM, for pancakes. At the exit 103 Rip Griffin just west of Phoenix, Scego had some maintenance done on his truck and was given a voucher for a free meal. With a little A-1, the voucher itself might have tasted better. After the third bite he gave up on his steak for lack of a chainsaw.

A ROSE to trucker Carlos Allen of new Bedford, MA, who came upon a hellish scene on Route 24 in January. A Toyota 4-Runner had veered off the road and struck a police cruiser. The officer was lying beside the flaming cruiser with a broken leg. Allen pulled his rig to a stop, jumped out and ran to the cruiser. He peered into the rear window of the smoke-filled vehicle just as a man’s face pressed against the window and screamed for help. Allen broke the window with a flashlight and pulled the man to safety with the help of a Brockton cabby who also stopped to help. Allen stayed with the victims until they were safely in the ambulance.

ROSE to the anonymous trucker who helped Des Moines, IA, police stop a teenage runaway in a chase that saw speeds of over 100 mph. Police were pursuing a 14-year-old in a car chase that led onto Interstate 235. Even though tire-puncturing devices had flattened the left-front tire, the teen speed fiend kept going. An alert truckdriver saw what was happening and began weaving back and forth across the lanes to keep the youth from passing. The 14-year-old was finally stopped when he tried to pass the truck in the median, but not before he rammed a police car.

A ROSE in memory of longtime OOIDA member Mike Smead, age 58 of Waynesville, OH. Mike was a very proactive OOIDA member and often called, wrote or visited his state lawmakers on behalf of OOIDA’s agenda of issues. He died on Jan. 12, leaving his wife, Olivia, three sons, one grandson and a lifetime of trucking friends. Mike was leased to Eastern Express.