Cherry commended for assisting marooned motorist
'It was probably one of the most effective uses for our taxpayer’s dollars… he did
nothing less than risk life and limb to help me and all the
Treasure Valley motorists.'
Jim Cherry was driving east on Interstate 84 near the Ten Mile Interchange reconstruction area on the morning of Dec. 29 when he noticed a small white Ford Ranger pickup truck. Its driver, David A. Walker, appeared to be in distress in the right-hand lane of the highway.
Under normal circumstances, this would have been a routine assist, but it turned out to be far from normal – the vehicle was partially in traffic. Because the area was under construction, the shoulders were not wide enough for Walker to completely pull off the highway.
To complicate matters, a rain and snowstorm was blowing in. Walker already had, in his estimation, no fewer than 10 near crashes as cars and trucks whizzed by. And it was about 8 a.m. – rush hour.
“I saw right off that this was a very scary situation,” says Cherry, who immediately called Idaho State Police for support. Cherry quickly set up his flashing arrow board warning drivers of the disabled vehicle and moving them over into the free lane. He also helped arrange a few construction barrels and cones behind Walker’s stalled truck.
With Cherry pushing and Walker steering, the truck started and they were able to safely move it to the side of the highway for diagnosis. An ISP officer arrived within minutes and the situation was controlled.
Cherry mentioned to Walker that the battery cables were so badly corroded that they weren’t making sufficient contact anymore.
To express his gratitude, Walker wrote a letter of commendation and sent it to the governor’s office.
Along with recounting his story, Walker also mentioned that “It was probably one of the most effective uses for our taxpayer’s dollars… he did nothing less than risk life and limb to help me and all the Treasure Valley motorists.
“Mr. Cherry did nothing short of save my life and my vehicle …even though it is probably something he does multiple times a day, it is one experience I hope to never repeat, nor will I ever forget.”
In his nine years with Incident Response, Cherry has come to the aid of thousands of drivers. The one on the morning of Dec. 29 is one of more than 10,000 motorist assists rendered last year, but it will forever stand out for driver David A. Walker.