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Kindness of strangers: Viral social media post thanks Eassons driver who brightened toddler’s day

Clarissa Flint took this photo of Harvey Palmer- a long-haul trucker who works for Kentville-based company Eassons, as he waved and honked his horn to distract her young son while they were stuck in a traffic jam in Ontario. - Clarissa Flint/Facebook
Clarissa Flint took this photo of Harvey Palmer- a long-haul trucker who works for Kentville-based company Eassons, as he waved and honked his horn to distract her young son while they were stuck in a traffic jam in Ontario. - Clarissa Flint/Facebook

An Eassons driver recently turned a traffic jam into a joyride for a two-year-old.

Clarissa Flint, of Stirling, Ontario, says she was recently broad-sided by the kindness of Harvey Palmer, a long-haul driver from Atlantic Canada. She was so touched by his generosity that she shared her story in a group on Facebook, earning the driver some kudos from across the country.

She says in late June, she and her son Damion had a full day of excitement and were on their way home when they caught in a traffic back-up from construction.

 “We were on the 401 between Brighton and Coburg on the way back from Toronto Zoo,” she said in an email. “It was a hot day and my two-year-old was having a hard time being stuck in traffic for an hour and a half. He was so upset, so we rolled down his window.”

Harvey Palmer pulled his rig over to present an Eassons hat to two-year-old Damion. - Clarissa Flint/Facebook
Harvey Palmer pulled his rig over to present an Eassons hat to two-year-old Damion. - Clarissa Flint/Facebook

In the next lane, Eassons driver Harvey Palmer was also headed back after a long, hot day of deliveries in the greater Toronto area. He and his student driver had been on the road since 6 a.m. and now traffic had come to standstill on the 401. Construction had backed up the traffic and everywhere people were running out of patience. That’s when he spotted a little boy having a hard time in the backseat of his mom’s car.

“I saw the little guy in the back and blew the horn and waved at him,” he said during a telephone interview. “We started playing cat and mouse.”

As traffic began moving forward along the 401, Palmer continued to wave and honk at Damion, keeping him smiling and amused. Palmer even slowed down and stopped long enough to allow Flint to catch up. When she pulled alongside the big rig, Palmer handed Damion a hat that made the day extra special.

She added that the gesture was all that much more special for her knowing how hard the traffic jam must have been for Palmer after a day of driving. She was so thrilled, she posted a video of Palmer behind the wheel, urging other drivers to be considerate of transport trucks.

“It’s not easy driving all day and night, they work hard for their families,” she said. “Being kind to others goes a long way. We now keep in touch with Harvey and he sends many truck pictures to my son, who still wears the hat.”

When word about Palmer’s kindness reached Eassons Ltd. in Kings County, where the company is based, they were happy to share their thoughts on their coworker.

“We are proud to be able to work with Harvey on a daily basis, and just last week he showed his willingness to go above and beyond with a kind gesture to a young guy stopped in traffic in Ontario,” said Joel Neily, on behalf of the company. “Keep doing what you do best, Harvey, and thank you for making our industry better.”

Neily, who is the company’s the safety coordinator, said no one at Eassons is surprised to hear about how Palmer acted on the road.

Clarissa Flint’s son Damion treasures his Eassons hat. - Clarissa Flint/Facebook
Clarissa Flint’s son Damion treasures his Eassons hat. - Clarissa Flint/Facebook

“Last month, I nominated him as driver of the month,” he said. “Harvey does a lot for people, he’s a super nice guy.”

Palmer, who is from Newfoundland, has been a truck driver for more than 30 years. He says he’s been driving for Eassons since 1998 and says he loves working with this Kentville-based, family-oriented business. Neily added that one of the things that makes him outstanding is his willingness to mentor student drivers, taking them on the road for a month at a time while they learn the tricks of trucks.

Flint says that she and Damion will always remember his unexpected kindness.

“He was a very wonderful man, his act of kindness and warm heart goes above and beyond to stop on 401 traffic jam,” she said. “Never in all my years has this ever happened to us.”

See Flint's Facebook post HERE.

Harvey Palmer's driver of the month award HERE.

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