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Drivers in the news

Truckers pitch in to save another driver

Indiana police are crediting two truckers with saving the life of another driver whose box truck crashed and caught fire in early October on Interstate 69 northeast of Indianapolis.

According to the Noblesville Ledger, the box truck rear-ended a flatbed that had stopped in the emergency lane because of a load-securement problem.

After impact, the box truck’s cab began filling with smoke.

That’s when two other truckers – Leo Chapham of Flat Rock, MI, and Darrel Allen of Indianapolis went to work.

The two men jumped up on the truck’s hood and smashed out the windshield, then pulled the driver out.

According to the Ledger, he was admitted to the hospital in critical condition, but police say, without the help of Chapham and Allen, he would have died in the cab.


Trucker saves 82-year-old woman from river

Truck driver Rick Tower was hauling a load of wood chips on Highway 96 near his hometown of Yreka, CA, in mid-September, when he saw a car fishtail out of control and end up in the Klamath River.

According to The Associated Press, Tower acted quickly. Slamming on his brakes, Tower ran down to the river, swam out to the car and pulled its driver, 82-year-old Dorothy Knudsen, to safety.

Tower told The AP that he thought he was going to lose her at first, but managed to pull her free. The driver of a pickup truck stopped, threw a rope out to Tower, and pulled the trucker and woman to shore.

Tower said it was a good thing the pickup driver came along

because the rescue efforts had

Tower “huffin’ and puffin’ pretty good.”

The woman survived the accident with only a sprained ankle and a mild case of hypothermia. No word on what caused her car to swerve off the road.


Overweight trucker wins new adoption hearing

Trucker Gary Stocklaufer will get his day in court after all.

Stocklaufer is a 500-pound driver from Independence, MO, who recently underwent gastric bypass surgery to lose weight, hoping that it would help his wife and him win custody of Max, a relative’s baby that they’re trying to adopt.

When they filed adoption papers, the couple was shocked at the court’s response.

Instead of getting the quick approval they expected, a circuit judge ruled that Stocklaufer was unfit for foster parenthood because of his weight.

Max was removed from the couple’s home, where he had been living for three months.

When the couple petitioned for a rehearing, it was also denied.

“I think it’s blatant discrimination against myself. Size should never have been an issue,” Stocklaufer said. “It wasn’t an issue six years ago when I was the same size and it was the same judge that let me adopt my other son.”

Stocklaufer said he believes his career is another way he’s being discriminated against in the case.

“Now that I’m a full-time, over-the-road truck driver they say that’s another key factor; that my wife’s basically a single parent because I’m never home. And that’s not the case,” the trucker said.

To counter the weight issue, Stocklaufer had gastric bypass.

The court had a change of heart, and scheduled a hearing for late November. LL