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Brock Vinson, a senior consulting utility forester at ACRT, recently received a G.E.M. Award for his “significant performance in safety and leadership.” He was nominated by ACRT Operations Manager Kelly Zajicek.
Zajicek shared the following about Vinson’s actions.
On Friday, June 2, 2023, Brock was on his way to an operations manager and supervisor meeting at the Arlington office. He was traveling on a busy two-lane highway headed towards the interstate when he encountered an impaired and dangerous driver. He first saw the small sedan making a U-turn on an overpass as he topped a hill with a limited line of sight in both directions. This road was a 60-mph zone with no passing or turning lanes. Brock immediately hit the brakes to not hit the turning car as well as multiple cars in the opposite lane, coming to a complete stop because of the dangerous turnaround.
Brock was now directly behind the sedan and headed in the same direction. It only took him a few minutes to realize the driver of the sedan was not in the right state of mind. The sedan was swerving back and forth from the center line to the shoulder going around 20-30 mph under the posted speed limit. Brock carefully followed the car with his hazard and strobe lights on and attempted to flash his high beams to get the driver’s attention to pull over into a safe spot. As he exited his vehicle to offer assistance, the sedan pulled back onto the road and took off again.
This is when Brock made the decision to call 911 and report the impaired driver who was still struggling to maintain control of his vehicle. At this point while on the phone with the [Texas Department of Public Safety] dispatcher, the car missed a hard left turn on the highway, drove into a roadside ditch, plowed into a culvert, and bounced up onto a driveway.
As Brock was giving the location and accident to the dispatcher, the driver stumbled out of his vehicle, checked the damage, then got back into his vehicle and took off. The dispatcher asked if Brock could safely catch up with the driver to help pinpoint his whereabouts for the now en-route state trooper.
Brock safely caught up with the sedan and as they neared the interstate, he was able to flag down the officer and point out the impaired driver. The trooper conducted various sobriety tests on the driver and then spoke to Brock about his findings.
The state trooper stated the driver was having some type of medical emergency and EMS was on the way to render aid. The trooper was very appreciative of Brock for calling in and trying to offer support. The incident resulted in no serious injuries or any major damage during this event.
I am incredibly proud of Brock for his resilience in this situation and believe he not only saved the life of the impaired driver but other drivers on the road as well. This is a perfect example of what the G.E.M. award is intended for.
ACRT is the largest independent utility consulting company in the U.S. and empowers utilities to proactively manage vegetation across their entire rights-of-way. We consistently stay on top of and share relevant industry content with our employees and customers around the country.