Instead of two wings, Jeff Blessing’s guardian angel has 18 wheels.
On May 25, an unidentified trucker used his big rig to keep other drivers from plowing over and killing Blessing after the Dickinson man wiped out on his motorcycle and ended up unconscious in the northbound lanes of Interstate 45 near NASA Parkway.
“I was laying in the middle of the freeway taking a nap,” said Blessing, referring to the 10:20 a.m. accident in which he struck a vehicle that had slowed or swerved after being hit by a loose tire. The tire came from a trailer attached to a third vehicle.
Police said the mystery trucker spotted Blessing in the middle of the northbound lanes of the Gulf Freeway and maneuvered his rig to block traffic in two lanes behind the truck.
“That trucker must have been an angel for him,” said Webster police Officer Mark Rawls, who responded to the accident call. “I believe the trucker did save the guy’s life. (Blessing) ended up landing almost in the middle lane of traffic where there are really no shoulders.”
Now Blessing, 24, is trying to locate his protector so he, his wife, Dorothy, 28, and sons, William, 2, and David, 1, can thank the trucker for preventing their family from being torn asunder.
The mystery trucker was “an instant hero,” said Dorothy Blessing, noting that Memorial Day weekends — when most recall dead relatives — will forever hold a special meaning for her family now.
“We feel duty-bound to find this man,” she said. “He needs to be recognized by everyone and we just want to give him a big, ‘Thank you’ from the bottom or our hearts.”
This week, playing with his sons has a new meaning, said Blessing, who has set up an email address at firstname.lastname@example.org in hopes of learning the trucker’s identity.
“We just want to try and find him so we can tell him how grateful we are,” Blessing said. “I’m just so thankful I got to come home again and see my wife and my little boys.”
Blessing was on his way to work at an insurance firm near FM 290 and Loop 610 when the wreck occurred. He said he doesn’t remember the accident but recalls a Life Flight trip to Memorial Hermann Hospital and a phone call to his wife assuring her he was not seriously injured.
Blessing’s 1991 Honda ST-1100 motorcycle was destroyed in the accident. A helmet and leather jacket he always wears helped limit injuries to a concussion, sprained shoulders and “road rash,” or minor scrapes and bruises, Blessing said.
Rawls said the trucker left the scene before he and other officers thought to get his name, license plate number or other information.
“He wasn’t directly involved and he wasn’t a witness to the accident so he was able to leave,” Rawls said. “I got involved in investigating the accident and wasn’t able to get his name before he left.”
Rawls said he did talk to the trucker at one point and praised him for his quick action to protect Blessing.
“I told him he really did a good deed because we definitely would have been working a fatality accident if he hadn’t done what he did,” Rawls said. “People go through that area at 70 and 80 miles an hour.”