Home News Trucker grateful for Indiana State Trooper’s words

Trucker grateful for Indiana State Trooper’s words

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Image credit: Wikipedia Commons
Image credit: Wikipedia Commons


By Laura Lane, Herald-Times, Bloomington, Ind.

Jan. 06–Rodney Gibson was sailing along Ind. 37 in Monroe County Monday afternoon in his 2016 Freightliner, hauling 40,000 pounds of recycled cardboard from Kentucky to Michigan, when he saw the flashing red-and-blue lights of the state police cruiser.

Not happy, he pulled to the side of the highway.

Indiana State Police Sgt. Todd Durnil approached the driver’s side window. Gibson handed over his commercial driver’s license and truck registration. He didn’t think he had been speeding or broken any traffic laws, and he was upset, even contentious, with the officer.

On his mind was his 35-year-old daughter, Jenica Hand; he had left her a few hours earlier after a stop in Evansville. She has been fighting breast cancer for years, and the prognosis is not the best. He was worried and sad. “That state trooper, he saw my eyes well up,” Gibson said.

Durnil noticed an angel pin stuck into the semi’s sun visor and mentioned that he had the same pin in his car. Gibson said he had just left from a visit with his daughter, and she had given him the angel to watch over him on the road, to keep him safe.

The 60-year-old trucker said Durnil conducted a vehicle inspection while he stewed in the cab, distressed with the delay. “It took a while, and I thought he was coming back to give me a ticket, but when he handed me the paperwork, it said no violations were discovered.”

He signed his name, “and at that point, to be honest, I was crying.”

Durnil asked if he had any questions, and Gibson, upset about his daughter, shot one back: “I sarcastically asked him if he knew how to pray. It was about my daughter at this point.”

Yes, Durnil knows how to pray.

“He reached for my hand, and this man sent up a prayer, for my daughter and for my family, that sent chills all over my body,” Gibson said by phone from the road Tuesday afternoon. “I will never, ever forget this, nor will my family.”

He said that in an age when police officers are becoming less trusted and are feared by some, he wanted to point out one cop’s act of grace.

“I know there have been a lot of negative things said about police officers and law enforcement, and I want people to know what this officer did for me,” Gibson said. “He helped get me down the road, because I had so much on my mind and was having a pretty rough day.”

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(c)2016 the Herald-Times (Bloomington, Ind.)

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