A truck driver was recently awarded $500,000 after being wrongfully arrested for loitering during a delivery.
This story involving a California trucker is a perfect example of why all truckers should know their rights — it could pay off. I mean, it probably wont. But it could. Tommy Franks Jr. proved that after a February 2019 incident.
This truck driver’s false arrest got him $500,000
The San Bernardino Sun reports that Tommy Franks Jr., a truck driver, was dropping off a delivery at a WinCo Supermarket when he was arrested by police officers. The driver parked his truck, went inside to alert store employees of the delivery, and grabbed a snack. On his way out, he was hassled by police officers.
Even though Franks wasn’t perfectly cooperative with the officers, dodging questions as they hounded him, he answered what he was legally required to. When asked what he was doing, Franks replied and said “walking.” He would be accused of loitering to which he would retort “how can I be loitering if I’m walking?”
Was he being uncooperative? Slightly. Was he being smart with the officers? A little bit. But he didn’t do anything illegal.
You see, by law, it’s not illegal to refuse to identify yourself to police. So while Franks might have been annoying to these officers, they had no reason to arrest him or apply any force. The driver’s lawyer claimed that he was arrested as a result of his verbal protests and requests to speak with a supervisor.
Four years later, Franks has been given $500,000 for his wrongful arrest in 2019.
A truck driver from Pittsylvania County stopped to get some food in Virginia. He would leave with $1 million… sort of.
According to the Virginia Lottery, a truck driver stopped at Mills Grill and Grocery for a BBQ sandwich. While he was there, he purchased two tickets for the state’s New Year’s Millionaire Raffle. He won.
The truck driver, Tim Allen, said that it was his first time doing the raffle and described his emotions as “pure excitement.” But he’s not the only truck driver who has won the lottery this year.
Truck drivers have a history of winning the lottery
You’ve probably seen more than a handful of headlines that are very similar to the one above — that’s because it has happened many times before. In fact, it seems like truck drivers are always winning the lottery. Just look at the anonymous lottery winner from Illinois who won $1 million earlier this year. The driver claimed that he frequently drives through Michigan and always buys tickets when he’s in the state.
And perhaps that’s the secret to winning a lottery ticket — access. Truckers are constantly passing through new areas and stopping at gas stations and rest stops. Lottery tickets are, in all likelihood, staring them in the face at all times.
Just a few years ago, a truck driver from Brooklyn cashed in nearly $300 million after winning the Powerball. Taxes would reduce it all the way down to $114 million but still. That’s over $100 million.
The history of famous comedians, actors, and performers with roots in the truck driving industry is actually very well-documented. There are more than a handful of examples of this, including individuals like Chevy Chase, Liam Neeson, and Elvis Presley.
It’s unclear what allows drivers to make this transition. It could just be by pure volume, as an estimated 1% of the US population is made up of truck drivers. It could also be the fact that truck drivers have a lot of time to sit and think — this could help a guy like Elvis write songs or someone like James Cameron hatch ideas for films. Either way, there is no shortage of talent coming out of the trucking industry.
One profession that isn’t surprising to see is that of a comedian. Truck drivers love their jokes and, as mentioned, have ample time to sit and come up with comedy routines.
Legendary comedian Richard Pryor was a truck driver before joining the Army and leaving as an aspiring actor and comedian
Richard Pryor is long gone — the famous comedian passed away in 2005. Still, he’s known as one of the best comedians of all time, earning the nickname “the Picasso of comedy” from Jerry Seinfeld. Pryor won five Grammy Awards in his career.
What most people don’t know about Pryor is that he was a truck driver before entering the Army. This was a long time ago — he was born in 1940 — but he was still a truck driver, nonetheless. Hotcars.com theorizes that Pryor may have practiced his comedy routines on a CB radio, though it’s unlikely, as they weren’t popular in trucks until the 1970s.
In fact, it may have been the solitude of driving a truck in the early days of the industry that inspired Pryor to follow a more human-interaction-adjacent career path as an actor and a comedian. At the end of the day, it doesn’t really matter what sent him down that career path — it seems like he was destined to be a comedian.
Pryor passed away at age 65.