WESTLAKE, Ohio — Susie Deridder of Fredericton, New Brunswick, and Douglas Ralph Smith of Bountiful, Utah, have been named the winners of the TravelCenters of America annual Citizen Driver Award.
The pair were selected from a pool of nearly 200 nominations of professional drivers who haul freight across North America. Deridder and Smith have a combined 95 years of hauling freight across the nation, with over eight million accident-free miles.
As a Citizen Driver Award recipient, each driver chose a TA, Petro or TA Express location to be dedicated in their honor that will include a bronze historical marker with the driver's image and story on the front of the building.
Deridder chose the TA in Barstow, Calif., to be dedicated in her name and is giving her $2,500 donation to Truckers Final Mile. Smith selected the TA in Tooele, Utah, to be dedicated in his name, and he will split his $2,500 donation among three charities: The St. Christopher Truckers Relief Fund, Tunnel to Towers and Truckers Final Mile.
A dedication ceremony will be held at each site in front of family and friends.
"Each year, our Citizen Driver Program honors those who go above and beyond to serve others. Their commitment to delivering our nation's goods, no matter the circumstances, is critical for our country's economy," TA President Barry Richards said. "We are committed to continuing to share these drivers' stories and demonstrate why they deserve respect and recognition year-round."
The Citizen Driver program began in 2013 with the intention of recognizing the professional drivers who keep America moving. Winners are chosen based on their background and involvement in initiatives including community involvement, safety, health and wellness and leadership.