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Helping Hands

Early in the morning on October 19, 2002, Gene Jones and his partner Jeremy Wieckhorst were making a routine run, hauling a load of oil when they saw a white van hit a light pole and roll over. By the time they got over to the wreck, Michael Myers, grain truck driver pulled over too. 

Jones extended his hand to the dark-haired man to see if he could feel a pulse. When he did, he told the man that help was coming and continued to hold his hand.

The man gasped for air a couple of times, then he died.

When the police arrived, the three truck drivers helped them roll the van off of the man and when they'd done all they could to help, got back into their rigs and headed out.

Stella Galindo was grief-stricken, as I'm sure you can only imagine, when the police notified her that Juan, her son had died in a traffic accident. Her grief was multiplied by the thought that he died alone. She was haunted by the thought of her son dying in the cold, alone. A few weeks after his death, a police office told her that a witness saw a truck driver crouched over her son's body. For a month she searched for the man and when she located him invited him over to her home.

When the doorbell rang, Stella, her husband Juan Sr. and daughter Sanjuan answered the door. She hugged the thick-chested truck driver and said, "Thank you for stopping. Thank you for not letting him die there alone." Jones reached out his big hand once again, but this time he wasn't holding onto a dying man-this time he was holding onto a grieving mother. "I wish I could have done more," he said. "I'm sorry for your loss."

Later Stella gave Jones a plaque she had made with two hands clasping one another-her way of expressing her gratitude to the man who offered a helping hand to her son...and to her.

(Source: Wichita Eagle,

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