Joe Hylton, has been driving big rigs for two years and, by his count, this is the seventh time he’s come to the rescue on the scene of an accident—and this time, perhaps, was the most heartwarming.
Driving for Perdue Farms, he was traveling at night down Delaware’s Route 1 recently, when he came across the scene of a bad accident. Both cars were nearly destroyed, and a man was frantically running down the highway.
Hylton pulled over and walked out into the middle of high-speed traffic in the dark to direct drivers away from the two wrecked cars. Then one of the drivers started to scream that he couldn’t find his daughter.
As a father of three, Hylton recalled, “I see a frantic father running around. He’s looking in the back of his truck and saying ‘I can’t find my daughter, I can’t find my daughter.’ I looked in and I saw an empty car seat in the back of the truck.”
Joe immediately went into “dad” mode and began to search through the marshy area along the road using his flashlight.
He finally came across a small gray bundle. At first he was afraid to look, knowing the type of injuries the two-year old could have sustained after being ejected from the car, but to his astonishment the little girl reached up to him without a single scratch.
The tearful dad thanked Joe, who got back in his truck and went on his way.
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However, a New Jersey Fire Department Battalion Chief, who happened to arrive on the scene, was able to track down Joe to recognize him for his heroism.
The Delaware State Police is now awarding Joe its Good Samaritan honor, and he was praised by his employer also.
“There is so much craziness going on in the world, I don’t believe in receiving accolades for helping somebody out,” responded the ‘super humble’ trucker. “That’s what we’re all supposed to do.”
“When I saw the look on his face, I said, ‘Man, I have to do something.’ To look at the empty car seat, your heart just drops.”
“As I got closer to her, it was like the Lord picked her up. She sat herself up and crossed her legs Indian style and stuck her hands up for me to pick her up.”
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“I grabbed her and called for the dad, the dad came running over, and we had a hug. We didn’t know each other, I never met him before in my life. But I’ll tell you we knew each other in that moment.”
“Everyone is so angry and upset, it seems like the world is on a level ten right now. A little bit of good will go a long way. It gives me hope that things are on the mend, that things are changing.”
“Most of the time it pays to be calm in those situations. That is the most helpful. Even if you don’t know first aid, if you can just identify where the people are and how to get help to them, that will save a life.”
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