Roses & Razzberries
Roses & Razzberries

By Terry Scruton, "Land Line Now" senior correspondent

ROSES to Trooper Eric Devers with the Ohio State Highway Patrol for his heroic actions that recently saved the life of a truck driver. Trooper Devers came upon a truck that had gone through a guard rail and down an embankment on Interstate 75 near Sydney, Ohio. The dashcam video from Devers' car shows him sprinting down the embankment toward the truck.

The driver, John Robert Depue of Charlotte, Mich., was unresponsive and not breathing. While you can't see it, you can clearly hear Devers on the audio of the dashcam as he begins CPR, shouting "Don't die on me!" and "Open your eyes!" It took 12 minutes for emergency crews to arrive on the scene, and by that time Devers had gotten the driver breathing again. Thank you doesn't seem to be enough for an action like this, but we'll say it anyway: Thank you, Trooper Devers.

RAZZBERRIES to Federal Judge Dan Aaron Polster for dismissing six out of seven claims in a class action lawsuit brought against the Ohio Turnpike and Infrastructure Commission. The suit challenged the commission's spending of $900 million in toll revenue on non-turnpike projects - including things like bike and pedestrian paths.

And ROSES, while we're at it, to plaintiff Melissa Ullmo for filing the suit in the first place. OOIDA has been speaking out about the problem of diverting funds for years and we're glad to see others outside the trucking industry finally taking notice and standing up against it, even if the court disagreed.

ROSES to Tami Hazlett, a 911 dispatcher in Niles, Ohio, who helped save a driver who was having a stroke. Unable to speak coherently, the driver couldn't give his name, location or anything else, so Hazlett told him to take a deep breath and asked him a series of yes or no questions. Over the next 10 minutes she was able to determine he was a truck driver and was parked in the Petro Truck Stop near Weathersfield. She also managed to get the color of the truck and general area where it was parked.

As if that wasn't enough, she brought the Trumbill County 911 Center into the call, and they got the Weathersfield Police Department out to the truck stop. They, in turn, managed to get the driver to a local hospital.

Hazlett says she was just doing her job, and in that case we say job well done.

Our own Jon Osburn, driver of the OOIDA tour truck, "The Spirit of the American Trucker," would like to send out some ROSES to the folks in charge of the Eau Claire Big Rig Truck Show in Eau Claire, Wis.

Jon keeps a jar in his truck to collect donations to the OOIDA Mary Johnston Scholarship Fund. Unfortunately, someone walked into the truck and made off with about $400 in donations. The empty jar was found behind the trailer and a police report was filed. So why isn't this a RAZZBERRY for the thief? Well, it would be if not for Terry Biddle and the folks at the Eau Claire show, who took the empty jar around and took up a collection. They came back with $800.

So thanks to everyone who kicked in to help turn what otherwise would have been a RAZZBERRY into one helluva ROSE

RAZZBERRIES to The New York Times and Howard Abramson for running a column recently with the headline "The Trucks Are Killing Us." Not bad enough for you? It also included a drawing of a truck where the cab was made to look like a skull. Still not bad enough? The aforementioned Howard Abramson, who wrote the column, is the former editor and publisher of Transport Topics and really ought to know better.

He starts off by saying that Congress is "coddling" the trucking industry and it just goes downhill from there. He must have a very different definition of coddling than we do. He goes on to bring up the mythological 82-hour workweek that truckers are now "allowed" to have thanks to the rollback of the 34-hour restart rule. Of course we all know that's not how it works and that 82 hours a week, while theoretically possible on paper, is virtually physically impossible in real life.

If you know anyone looking for a job, apparently the Times has a few openings in its fact-checking department. LL