Over the years, XPO Logistics Truckload (formerly Con-way Truckload) has had an impressive collection of heroes. This heroes series serves to honor their actions, both on and off America’s roadways. Stay tuned for more stories about our company's heroes - past and present - over the coming weeks.
In 2013, professional driver Robert Woolf earned the designation of Highway Angel from the Truckload Carriers Association, for his efforts to help a fellow driver survive a serious car accident in upstate New York.
Early in the morning on November 7, 2012, Woolf was driving his truck on I-90 near Syracuse, New York, when a small passenger car passed him. The two vehicles reached a curve in the highway, and suddenly the passenger car went off the road, smashing violently against the guardrail. When the guardrail ended, the car lunged across the median into oncoming traffic, spun back over the median and finally came to a stop.
Seeing the accident unfold in front of him, Robert Woolf immediately called 911, came to a stop and exited his truck to see if he could help in some way. In driver training school, Woolf had been taught that, in the event of a life-threatening accident such as this, it is vital to keep the victim perfectly still to avoid exacerbating any potential spinal injuries. Woolf did just that, propping the unconscious man up with his shoulder and cupping his hand against the man’s neck to serve as a brace. He was able to successfully stabilize the driver until the paramedics arrived.
Instantly, Woolf’s actions were recognized as heroic, though the Leland, North Carolina, native remained humble in an emotional speech at the ceremony honoring his Highway Angel designation.
“You can’t see something like that happen right in front of you and not try to do something,” Woolf said. “Your conscience tells you that you have to [help].”
Later in his Highway Angel acceptance speech, Woolf did not shy away from the one issue that XPO Logistics holds as its top priority: safety.
“If you had seen what I saw that day, you would wear your seat belt the way it is intended,” Woolf said. “That man would not have survived without his seat belt.”
Born in North Carolina, Woolf spent his childhood in the Florida Keys, only to return to North Carolina. He is the proud father of twin boys and a daughter.