Interstate Distributor Co. is proud to announce Richard E. Walsh as the Washington Trucking Associations 2013 Driver of the Year. Richard is an outstanding professional truck driver who represents our industry with a focus on safety first, service always and operational excellence. Over the past year, Richard has demonstrated humanitarian acts as a Good Samaritan in two separate highway incidents.
Richard has more than 31 years’ experience as a professional truck driver and has been part of Interstate Distributor Co.’s team since January 2005. Richard and his wife Kelly live in Spokane, Washington. They have a daughter Lenora, son James, granddaughter Alyssa and grandson Ricky.
Richard has an outstanding safety record with no accidents and no moving violations over the past 10 years. Richard regularly participates in Interstate Distributor Co. safety training programs to keep up his skills as a professional driver.
Fleet manager, B.J. Rees describes Richard as a “great ambassador.” B.J. says that Richard provides outstanding customer service and that he always has a positive attitude. Richard brings his cheerful personality with him any time he goes in to a customer.
Richard maintains his haz-mat endorsement, demonstrating a higher level of professional truck driving skill. He maintains fuel idle percentages within Interstate’s guidelines which is important to operating efficiently. Richard is a hard-working driver who puts in the miles. In the 15 days before his nomination was submitted, Richard drove more than 4,000 miles, only taking a few days off for home time. During 2012, Richard drove a total of 111,013 miles. Additionally, Richard is an excellent trip planner. Fleet Manager B.J. Rees says “Richard never has to pull any ‘miraculous saves’ because he doesn’t put himself into a situation where he has to.”
What makes Richard really stand out from an ordinary driver is his compassion and willingness to help others. Twice in the past year, Richard has come across others in need and he has sacrificed his time to help them.
On Tuesday, February 19, 2013, Richard was dispatched on a load out of Minden, NV. He was driving on HWY 299 toward Auburn, WA and encountered heavy snow. Richard was prepared for these conditions because he had tuned into the local weather advisory. During the trip, he noticed flashing lights ahead of him. Visibility was limited due to the heavy snowfall but he noticed an SUV in front of him in the distance. The flashing lights were a warning for a railroad crossing. Unfortunately, the SUV ahead of Richard was unable to slow/stop in time and was struck by the train that was coming through. Richard stopped and offered assistance to the two gentlemen that were involved in the accident. The highway was closed for several hours due to this accident. However, Richard made excellent judgment and safely positioned his truck ahead of the accident site to avoid a service failure to a very important customer all while being a Good Samaritan. Richard made calm, calculated decisions to avoid a serious accident AND delivered the load ON TIME.
Wait, there is more. On March 13th while driving in some bad (snowy) weather around North Bend, Rick watched a driver (not from Interstate) jackknife and then roll over right in front of him. The driver could not get out and fuel was pouring out all around the truck. Rick pulled over, stopped his truck and ran over to the other truck. He climbed up on the door, reached in and pulled the other driver out of his truck and carried him to safety.
Amazingly, Rick has been in the right place at the right time and has known what to do two other times in his life. One of his “rescues” still sends him a Christmas card every year for the last 20 years for saving his life. Rick is one amazing trucker!
Interstate is so proud to have Richard as a part of our team and the WTA is proud to have Richard represent our association as the 2013 Driver of the Year.Posted by admin on November 6, 2013 | Categories: News.