Friday, July 25, 2008

The Highway Samaritan

Meet Thomas Weller -- the Good Samaritan of the 405.
Rather than die of boredom on his front porch, Weller, aka The San Diego Highwayman, hops in his DIY search and rescue vehicle -- complete with loudspeaker and emergency lights -- and cruises Interstate 405 looking for stranded motorists needing assistance. He has been at it since 1966, and reckons that he has helped more than 6,000 motorists -- putting over 600,000 miles on the odometer.

Sadly, the hike in fuel prices has limited Weller's do-good outings, more especially as his 5,600-pound customized Ford station wagon pulls out a mere 10 miles out of a gallon. The official Highway Patrol is not too thrilled by Weller's initiative, but there is something John Wayne-ish about him that could only happen in this country. Elizabeth Douglass tells his story in the LAT, together with a compelling video.
photo Brent Foster/LAT