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Heroes on the Highway: Virginia trucker honored for selfless action

Posted at 2:26 PM, Aug 24, 2023

CHESTERFIELD COUNTY, Va. — A national organization honored Chesterfield County truck driver Tim Olden after he helped others at the scene of a July crash.

Olden has been a truck driver for over three decades. He has most recently been driving as an over-the-road (covering coast to coast) with Decker Truck Line based in Iowa.

"I've been doing this for a long time. I'm a third-generation driver," Olden said.

Olden and his copilot, an English Bulldog named Gunnery Segreant Barney, were on a cross-country trip last month when they came across a crash shortly after it happened.

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A national organization honored Chesterfield County truck driver Tim Olden after he helped others at the scene of a July crash.

Olden said a car had gone across the median into oncoming traffic and was t-boned by a pickup pulling a camper on I-70 near Stratton, Colorado.

Olden added he and several other drivers stopped to help.

"I automatically grabbed my fire extinguisher because when you have smoke coming from a car [as one did], you're going to have yourself a fire, especially in the grass," said Olden, who added a fire never started and noted it was rainy that day.

He said the drivers then split up to look after people in the two vehicles -- with him heading to those in the car that was t-boned.

"The whole passenger side was caved in," he said. "We had to pop the back window glass out, so we get in so we get the front door unlocked to get it open to see if they can get out."

Olden said one of the occupants was able to get herself out, but he and a trauma nurse helped the other person get out of the car.

He said he then set up some lawn chairs he saw in the car for the occupants to rest while waiting for first responders (who he said got there very quickly). In total, he said he was on scene for about 20 minutes.

Olden's actions were recognized this month by the Truckload Carriers Association's Highway Angel Program -- which has honored nearly 1,300 truckers since 1997.

"They really are heroes out on the highway," Hunter Livesay, Digital Communications and Systems Manager, said. "Just being willing to stop and help out and kind of provide some of the creature comforts getting them those chairs and just being there for the folks after, you know, they experienced going through that accident."

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A national organization honored Chesterfield County truck driver Tim Olden after he helped others at the scene of a July crash.

Olden said he was just doing what truckers are obligated to do, but added getting the award felt good. He said his new dispatcher nominated him for the award after he told her what happened and said he only wanted to explain why he was running late.

"Usually, that's how it happens with truck drivers," he said. "We normally try to do what we can, when we can."

Olden added that "Gunny" slept through the whole experience.

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