‘Knights’ on our highways

The scene of 13 semis lined up under a bridge on a highway near Detroit confirmed something I’ve been saying since the early ’80s: truck drivers are the “knights” of our highways.
You’ve probably seen the photo of the trucks whose drivers heeded an emergency call that a man was standing on an overpass and threatening to jump down onto the highway below. The trucks, with the help of Michigan state police, managed to create a “wall” beneath the bridge, meaning if the man did jump, his fall would be considerably shortened, and also that he would be unable to jump into the speeding traffic below.
With those options eliminated, counselors were able to talk the man off the bridge and lead him to safety.
This all took place in the wee hours of Tuesday morning, the first call for help going out at 1 a.m.
From 1980 to 1983 I lived in Allentown, Pa., and worked in Pittston, giving me an hour-long commute on the Pennsylvania Turnpike and an opportunity to observe the drivers of those big rigs.
Time after time, they’d slow down and allow me in my compact car to enter the Lehigh Tunnel in front of them instead of behind. Time after time I’d see one of them pull over to assist a stranded motorist.
That’s when I began thinking them as true “knights in shining armor.”
The event last week told me I was not wrong.

Ed Ackerman