Old Dominion driver recognized with distinguished service award for selflessness, dedication to others

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Harold Hyde getting into his truck
Harold Hyde has been awarded the John Yowell award, which Old Dominion created the award in 2011 following the untimely death of former executive vice president and chief operating officer, John Yowell. (Courtesy: Old Dominion Freight Lines)

THOMASVILLE, N.C. — Old Dominion Freight Line Inc. has recognized Harold Hyde, a Nashville, Tennessee, pickup and delivery driver, with the esteemed 2020 John Yowell OD Family Spirit Award. Hyde received the annual service recognition for his remarkable courage, heroism and selfless dedication to others.

In August 2019, Hyde was driving on McCrory Lane in Davidson County (Tennessee) while en route to a customer delivery when he noticed cars swerving to miss an object in the road.

As he approached, he realized the object in the road was a 4-year-old boy. Without hesitation, Hyde immediately pulled his Old Dominion tractor-trailer across both lanes of traffic to barricade the street and jumped out of his truck. The boy, who was autistic and nonverbal, had unlocked managed to unlock the front door of his home and had wandered into the road. Another good Samaritan who stopped to assist Hyde called the police, and the boy was safely returned home to his family.

“I am humbled to be recognized with the John Yowell award,” Hyde said. “It’s inspiring to be associated with the legacy of Mr. Yowell and past recipients of the award. My job allows me to interact with the great people of Nashville and beyond, and I will continue to strive for excellence in my work while serving my community. I’m just thankful for the chance to do something positive for someone else.”

Old Dominion created the award in 2011 following the untimely death of former executive vice president and chief operating officer, John Yowell.

Yowell epitomized a family culture, which serves as a key operating philosophy for the leading less-than-truckload carrier. The “OD Family Spirit” award is given to an employee who showcases an unabashed devotion to helping others. Employees nominate peers who demonstrate care and excellence in their day-to-day lives. The winner is then ultimately selected from Old Dominion’s 20,000 employees based on these nominations.

Hyde, who has been a pickup and delivery drivere for Old Dominion since 2007, was presented the award for his unprecedented actions, which embody the OD Family Spirit through his heroic acts of service, kind-hearted deeds and drive for helping others.

To add to the list of his inspiring good deeds, Hyde helped another stranger in September 2019. On this occasion, Hyde was driving his local route, making customer deliveries, when he saw an overturned SUV with a pregnant woman trapped inside. Hyde rushed to rescue the woman from the vehicle before first responders could arrive.

“Harold’s continued commitment to going above and beyond for his community and Old Dominion customers naturally sets him apart,” said Greg Gantt, president and CEO of Old Dominion Freight Line. “His uncanny ability to be in the right place at the right time and humble heroism make him the true picture of a John Yowell OD Family Spirit Award winner.”

As part of the recognition, Hyde received $1,000 to donate to a charity of his choice. He selected the True Joy Community Program, an organization that provides healthy meals and snacks to children in low-income areas in an effort to decrease hunger and obesity and to promote health and nutrition.

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