Unisource Driver Named '2008 Highway Angel of The Year' by Truckload Carriers Association

Leonard T. "Lenny" Roach Lauded for Rescuing Trapped Motorist from Icy Water

Dec 24, 2008, 05:20 ET from Unisource Worldwide, Inc.

NORCROSS, Ga., Dec. 24 /PRNewswire/ -- Braving a below-zero wind-chill temperature, Unisource Worldwide Inc. Truck Driver Leonard T. "Lenny" Roach rescued an accident victim from certain peril in February, and for his courageous, humanitarian act, the Truckload Carriers Association (TCA) has selected him as its "2008 Highway Angel of the Year."

For the past nine years, Roach has driven a "Big Red" truck for Unisource, a leading North American distributor of paper, packaging and facility supplies. He will be honored during a special presentation at the Roady's Humanitarian Bowl football game, which will be broadcast live from Boise, Idaho, by ESPN, on December 30, at 4:30 p.m. EST.

Based at Unisource's Addison, IL, facility, Roach was driving eastbound on his regular delivery route along I-94, near South Bend, IN, on February 19, just after 5 a.m., when he saw a car ahead of him skid on "black ice" and careen down an embankment, rolling over several times before landing upside down in a water-filled ditch. The accident victim, Ernesto R. Soto, undid his seat belt and crawled into the back seat to breathe from a pocket of air, as icy water filled his car. Meanwhile, after stopping his truck, Roach sped down the embankment and pried open a door to pull Soto, already chest deep in water, from the car and transport him up the hill, in a -20 degrees wind chill, to recover in the warm Unisource truck cab until the Emergency Response Team arrived.

"Some people freeze in those kinds of situations," said Jessie Meredith, Operations Manager at Unisource's Addison facility. "But Lenny took action and got the job done. After he brought the motorist back to his truck, Lenny called our office. Once the Emergency Response Team showed up and took care of the motorist, Lenny proceeded to finish his route.

"Our entire company is proud of Lenny and his accomplishment," Meredith added. "You can count on him, and he has earned the respect of customers, co-workers and peers. Unisource is the leader in the industry, and this highlights the type of people we have on our team."

The TCA presented Roach with a Highway Angel lapel pin, certificate and patch. Since its inception in 1997, the Highway Angel program has recognized professional truck drivers for the unusual kindness, courtesy and courage they have shown others while on the job.

About Unisource Worldwide, Inc.

Unisource Worldwide, Inc., (www.unisourcelink.com) is a leading independent marketer and distributor of commercial printing and business imaging papers, packaging systems and facility supplies and equipment in North America. Headquartered in Norcross, Ga., Unisource is one of the largest private companies in the United States and offers the most comprehensive suite of products and services in the industry. With approximately 6,000 team members -- including sales, customer service and technical support specialists; approximately 85 distribution centers; and a fleet of "Big Red" trucks -- Unisource can deliver what your business needs when and where you want it -- locally, regionally and nationally.

SOURCE Unisource Worldwide, Inc.