Monday, August 27, 2007

Four-wheeler heroes

I was heading home from work last week on the west side of Nashville, when I saw a thick ugly dark column of smoke billowing from just north of I-40 and the Briley Parkway interchange. I knew there were some fuel storage tanks up that way and wondered if one was burning.

The reality was much more grim. The fire came from an overturned tanker truck that had flipped, exploded and burned, killing the 29-year-old driver, Daniel Moss. The story was on the news when I got home, and a bit later, the newscasters were updating to report on the heroic effort of a passing motorist who tried to save the driver.

As reported by WTVF-TV, Lee Goodrum was heading home from work and saw the accident in his rearview mirror. He could have kept going – he was safely past the unfolding tragedy – but instead he stopped and went to try to help. The intense heat and roaring flames drove him back.

We like to complain about inconsiderate motorists, and morons do abound. But I think we don’t give enough credit to the countless courtesies four-wheelers do extend: After all, if they didn’t give a little ground, how would you ever change lanes, enter or exit a roadway?

And when something like this happens, it restores a lot of faith not just in four-wheelers, but in people in general. Be thankful for people like Mr. Goodrum – and watch your own behavior to help encourage more good Samaritans when a trucker needs aid.