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Asleep At The Wheel : The Day "Aunt Hazel" Saved My Life

Mar
20,
2007
0

“Aunt Hazel”

Truck driving jobs allow drivers the time for a particular aspect in their life: “thinking.” Without a doubt, truck drivers have plenty of time to “think.” Countless hours and endless miles give drivers the opportunity to reflect on where their lives have been and where it is going. Perhaps the greatest reflections on their minds are those of family.

Over the road truck driving jobs take drivers away from family for months at a time. When things are down, one can always depend on this unity . . . family is always there. My most enjoyable moments on the road were when a family member was able to “ride along” and we shared the open road together. A few of my kids have tagged along and once I picked up my mother in Oklahoma and brought her to Florida for a visit. I remember a particular trip I was on when my Aunt Hazel decided to “tag” along.

Aunt Hazel was a kind and generous lady who was always giving of herself and never asking anything in return. Soft spoken and gentle, I had never heard her raise her voice to anyone. She was one of the most tender-hearted human beings I have ever known. On April 17th, 2006, my Aunt Hazel finally had the opportunity to ride along with me as I traveled through the state of West Virginia.

I had been running hard on that trip, making nearly impossible schedules, and had reached a point of exhaustion. It’s funny how the brain functions when one is so tired, yet keeps pushing themselves to go further. You tend to drift off to a place of peaceful memories, where life was joyful and you felt loved and safe. Thoughts of family and friends would enter my mind and I would find myself transferred back in time and I would remember.

At one point, I looked over to the passenger seat, and Aunt Hazel was sitting there with a very disgusted look on her face, unlike one I had ever seen. In her soft voice she said, “Aubrey, you need to pull over and shut down and get some sleep.” I explained that I knew there was a rest area several miles down the road and I would stop there. That seemed to satisfy her, although she kept that “annoyed” look on her face. I just chuckled to myself, because, after-all, I was a professional, and she could see what truck driving jobs were all about. I continued on, and shortly after that, I found myself lost in memory and the truck seemed to drive itself.

After what seemed like just a few minutes, I could hear Aunt Hazel softly speaking again, “Aubrey? ………Aubrey?……..Aubrey?……… I could hear her saying my name, but I was somewhere else, lost in thought within the past of my life. Suddenly, out of character for Aunt Hazel, she was only inches from my face and she did something I had NEVER seen or heard her do EVER . . . she ‘SCREAMED!’…….”AUBREY . . . WAKE UP!!”

Her scream jolted me out of unconsciousness. I HAD FALLEN ASLEEP AT THE WHEEL!! I looked up only seconds away from crashing head on into the concrete barrier of a bridge. Jerking the wheel to the left, the big rig rolled back onto the interstate, causing the trailer to swerve violently. The rear tandem of the 53-foot trailer caught the edge of the median, causing a wake of dirt, grass and gravel to fly into the air behind me. Seconds later, I saw the sign that read: Rest Area, 1 mile. I made it into the rest area, and feeling very sheepish, went straight to bed without saying a word. I immediately fell to sleep.

When I awoke, I instantly remembered the incident. Aunt Hazel, who I had never heard her raise her voice, had actually SCREAMED at me! Had she not, I would have hit that bridge head on, with the cruise control engaged at 70 MPH! It was an amazing incident. It is a day I will never forget . . . April 17th, 2006.

What makes this incident really amazing? Aunt Hazel passed away . . . November 11th, 1993.

 

In Loving Memory
Hazel Lee Price
Born : May 20th, 1938
Went Home: November 11th,1993

About the Author :

Aubrey “Allen” Smith is the author of the Truth About Trucking. He devotes his time in helping new drivers understand the inside secrets of truck driving jobs. To learn how to avoid the scams in the trucking industry, please visit http://www.truthabouttrucking.com today.

© 2007 – 2008, Allen Smith. All rights reserved.

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By: Allen Smith

Allen Smith is a 37 year veteran who started at an early age in a household goods family moving business. He began driving straight trucks in 1977 and moved to the big rigs in 1982. His experience within the industry includes; owner operator, company driver, operations manager, and owner of a long distance HHG moving business, taking many of the long haul moves himself when needed. Allen Smith, a truck driver advocate who is driven by the desire to help others succeed within an industry where injustice, unrewarded sacrifice, and lack of respect and recognition exists. Allen and his wife Donna are hosts of Truth About Trucking ”Live” on Blog Talk Radio. Other websites include AskTheTrucker, TruckingSocialMedia, NorthAmericanTruckingALerts, TruthAboutTrucking, and many Social Media websites. In 2011 Allen and Donna hosted the first Truck Driver Social Media Convention, designed to create unity and solutions for the trucking industry. This is now being extended through the North American Trucking Alerts network as those within the industry join forces for the betterment of the industry. Allen strongly supports other industry advocates who are also stepping up to the plate to help those who share honesty, guidance and direction. He believes that all those involved in trucking need to be accountable for their part within the industry, including drivers, carriers, brokers, shippers, receivers, etc… The list of supporters and likeminded people grow daily, networking together and sharing thoughts and ideas for the betterment of trucking. He has coined the popular phrase "Raising the standards of the trucking industry"

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