Legal Corner

New Hope drivers find lost boy

Wednesday, April 4 started out as a normal working day for driver/trainer Adam Tully and his driver trainee, employees of Oak Bluff, Manitoba’s New Hope Transport Ltd., a carrier of Bulk (pneumatic and hopper), flat deck and van loads. Adam, a four-year veteran with the company, was ‘showing the trainee the ropes’ as they finished unloading lumber at a pallet mill in Winnipeg just off Route 90. Little did the pair know that the day was going to take an ominous detour.

As they were wrapping up, a distraught woman approached them and asked them if they had seen a young boy in a green T-shirt anywhere around the pallet mill. She was a teacher at a school 5.5 km away and a seven-year-old autistic student had run away from the institution. She had followed the running lad from the school through grassland bordering the busy truck route. Nearby were a creek and a retention pond. The teacher lost sight of the boy when a train passed between them.

The team of drivers told the frantic educator that they would keep an eye open for the boy, and the trainee even did a walkabout around the pellet mill yard, but saw nothing. They also checked for footprints in the snow around the retention pond, finding none. Following the unload, the team turned around in the parking lot and made a slow right turn as they exited the yard, eyes peeled for the missing boy. Within seconds they spotted him – running through the grass along the side of the street.
The rig very slowly pulled alongside the lad and the trainee tooted the horn. Startled at first, the little boy’s eyes opened in wonder at the huge truck on the street beside him. Adam called out to the young fellow, “Hi, do you want to see the truck?”

The boy nodded vigorously and climbed into the cab between the team of drivers. Fascinated by the dash, the boy wanted his turn on the horn and tooted it a couple of times. While Adam was pointing out all the lights and switches on the dash, the trainee called the police and told them they had found the lost boy. Adam stayed on the phone with the 911-operator until the police arrived.

The team then moved the truck as it was blocking traffic. Meanwhile, the little guy was quite occupied in exploring the truck.

Adam states, “The police arrived in under five minutes – it was quite an impressive response time.” When they approached the truck and opened the door, the little boy threw up his hands in a ‘rats, you caught me’ gesture. Not wanting to upset the boy, the police allowed the driving duo to drive the lad around the block a couple of times for a ‘farewell trip.’

Upon exiting the truck, the little guy quipped to the drivers, “I like your working truck!”

Every story should have a happy ending like this one. Adam says, “Both of us are parents. We couldn’t imagine the feeling of not being able to find a child. We’re just happy we came across him when we did and everything worked out.”

Both drivers have been getting a lot of mileage out of the story, both relating it in person and on social media. They bring ‘new hope’ to a world that feasts on negative stories

(Editor’s note: I’m sorry readers, but that pun absolutely had to be used). Both New Hope Transport and the entire trucking industry are proud of you, gentlemen. Well done!

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