Not all heroes wear capes. Sometimes they drive a big truck and pay attention to Silver Alert announcements on the digital freeway signs. Kirk, one of our long time drivers, helped locate  James Payne, 86, who went Missing on Nov 25, 2020. A Silver Alert was sent out on Nov 26, the same day he was located, with some help from kirk.

The Silver Alert system in Texas is similar to the Amber Alerts. Silver Alerts are specific to missing people who are “Wanderers.”

“Wandering impacts families and caregivers statewide, affecting those who suffer with various mental conditions, to include Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia. The state’s Silver Alert program was created by Texas legislation in year 2007, designed to notify the public of missing older adults with a documented mental condition.”

For Kirk, his Thursday started normal. He was traveling from Waco and stopped at the Loves Travel Center in Quanah, TX.

“I saw the Silver Alert earlier, you know, on the overhead signs. I made a note with the vehicle make and the plate number.” Kirk said. “As I was leaving the Loves, an older gentleman held the door for me. He got into a black Charger parked in front of the door. I couldn’t remember the exact plate number, but 9189 rang a bell when I saw his plate number. I wrote it down and went to my truck. The plate number matched and I looked for the Silver Alert. That was the guy.”

Kirk called the local police at 9:44am and gave a description of the vehicle and the man and that Mr. Payne was heading west. About a half hour later the police called kirk to notify him Mr. Payne was located safely.

Alerts and Truckers

The Amber Alert system is the most recognized alert system for missing persons. Texas also employs the Silver Alert System to locate missing persons who wander, usually due to mental health conditions. Truck drivers are in a unique position help find people safely, simply by observing these alerts, staying alert, and reporting to the authorities if we see something.

The good news is Mr. Payne is now safe. That’s a direct result of the Silver Alert system and a truck driver paying attention.