December 18, 2019 | Published by Eddie Stobart

A TPN driver who works for Halifax-based Claude Hellowell recently received a commendation for saving the life of a man intent upon suicide on Halifax flyover last spring.

27-year-old Dan Binns, who has been a truck driver for 18 months, was returning to base after collecting palletised freight from local customers. He saw a man standing at the edge of Burdock Way flyover, and stopped his vehicle to check everything was okay.

“Most people simply drove past,” says Dan. “Maybe they didn’t realise what was happening or they were just focused on getting home. But I needed to check.”

When he realised the man was sobbing, Dan put his arms around him and held him, both for comfort and so that he couldn’t jump. “I just talked to him, saying we could go for a walk, or for pizza or beer. Anything to keep him focused on something positive until the police arrived.”

Unfortunately when the police did arrive, things didn’t go to plan. The man panicked and broke away from the police, racing down the bridge toward the railing. “He was half way over the railing when I caught him, grabbing a fistful of his coat. I said: ‘You’re not jumping on my watch, mate,’” says Dan who hauled the man to safety and kept him pinned to the ground until the police could safely collect him and take him to hospital.

“Due to confidentiality I can’t know any more about him,” says Dan, “but I’ve been told he’s still alive and I hope he’s okay. It was a very surreal experience. I didn’t think about what I was doing at the time but the award spells out that I saved someone’s life. And I guess that means his loved ones were saved a whole lot of heartache too.”

Dan was awarded a District Chief Superintendent’s Commendation, which reads:

“For your courageous and selfless actions in intervening and restraining a male who was intent on committing suicide. Your actions undoubtedly saved the man’s life.”

Unfortunately Dan couldn’t attend the ceremony. “I was flying to Valencia that day. The Under 16s football team I coach had a Spanish tour,” he says. “But getting the award meant a lot to me. It brought home what I’d done that night.”

Dan says he loves his job, but when he first qualified as a truck driver he found long distance work was not for him. “I gave up trunking and went back to my rigids. I’m a people person and I love meeting my customers every day and being part of my community.”

“Dan is a great part of our team. He’s a lovely lad, and he’s won Employee of the Month twice in the past year,” says Claude Hellowell MD Chris Lord. “He’s also very fond of his TPN caps. He usually has at least three in his cab!”

TPN MD Mark Duggan says: “We’re very proud of Dan and the selflessness and bravery he showed. We’d like to think he reflects the very best of our values as a network. I hope he’ll be an inspiration to other young people who might consider joining the logistics industry.”