Since 2009, Truckers Against Trafficking have called on truck drivers to “make the call, save lives” in the fight against human trafficking.
And Con-Way Truckload driver Kevin Kimmel of Tavares, Fla., did just that. He made a call to police after catching a glimpse of a “distraught-looking young girl in the darkened window of an RV” while he was parked at a New Kent, Va., truck stop.
Kimmel’s actions led to the arrest of an Iowa couple on Jan. 6. The couple was charged with sex trafficking after allegedly kidnapping a 20-year-old girl, physically and sexually abusing her, and forcing her into prostitution.
On Friday, April 3, Kimmel received the 2015 Harriet Tubman Award from Truckers Against Trafficking, or TAT. The award is named for famed abolitionist Harriet Tubman, whose actions “resulted in the transportation of 300 slaves to freedom through the Underground Railroad and whose overall role in the freedom movement was instrumental in the freeing of thousands more,” according to a TAT news release. Kimmel also received a $2,500 check.
“Driver Kevin Kimmel’s actions in reporting the suspicious activity he saw while resting at a truck stop is exactly the type of action we want to recognize with the Harriet Tubman award,” TAT Executive Director Kendis Paris said in a news release about the award.
TAT has also partnered with Con-Way Truckload, the company Kimmel drives for, and has trained more than 1,500 of its employees to be on the lookout for signs of human trafficking.
This is the second year TAT has honored a member of the trucking industry whose “direct actions help save or improve the lives of those enslaved or prevent human trafficking from taking place,” the release stated.
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