Colleagues give snowplow operator backward honor
Troy Despain, a District 5 maintenance worker, usually focuses his attention on the road ahead. He works on the district’s striping crew in the summer and plows snow with the Blackfoot maintenance crew in the winter.
When it comes to driving backward, though, he’s no Mater (the free-wheeling tow truck featured in the movie “Cars.”) Despain’s colleagues understand that backing up requires a lot of talent and training, so they cut him some slack – not much slack, but a little – after a slight crash recently.
In late December, Troy was plowing Interstate near Shelley when an irate motorist pulled a gun on a tow truck operator. The incident resulted in a temporary closure of the Shelley business loop by the Idaho State Police. At the same time, it made the normal I-15 snowplow turnaround in accessible.
As any good snowplow driver would, Troy improvised.
But while trying to turn his vehicle around at Exit 108, Troy accidentally backed into the end of a guardrail, permanently changing its shape. Colleagues seized the opportunity (and the guard rail end) to create a special award, honoring Troy for his ingenuity.
They crafted a trophy out of the bruised guardrail, attached an award-winning set of antlers and presented it during an impromptu ceremony recently. The antlers represented an appropriate touch since Troy is an avid bow hunter who downed a trophy bull last year. The trophy mount was so imposing Troy has to display it at the home of his in-laws.
Now, thanks to Randy Richards of the Blackfoot crew, Troy has a reminder of the guardrail that didn’t get away, which he can proudly display at home.
Who says that bad deeds don’t go unrewarded?