Kevin Kimmel, an American truck driver with Conway Truckload, had an ordinary shift until he reached a truck stop in rural New Camp County, Virginia. Amidst the hustle and bustle, an old RV with blacked-out windows caught his attention, setting off alarm bells in his mind.
As he watched, a man entered the suspicious RV, which began to rock after some time. What really troubled Kimmel was when he glimpsed a young woman peering out from behind a blackout shade, only to be pulled back inside by someone.
Stricken with concern, Kimmel made a crucial decision to call the local police. His call led to the dispatch of two trooper cruisers and two Sheriff cruisers. Police freed the disheveled young lady from the RV, and later, a man and a woman were taken into custody.
It was later revealed that the couple had kidnapped the victim two weeks prior, subjecting her to torture and starvation. They were subsequently sentenced to 42 and 40 years in jail.
The victim, though unnamed publicly, reached out to Kimmel to express her gratitude, calling him her hero. Kimmel, inspired to do more as a trucker, contacted Truckers Against Trafficking (TAT), an organization dedicated to combating human trafficking by educating drivers about its signs.
With 29 million modern-day slaves worldwide and hundreds of thousands in the US, human traffickers prey on victims in various places, making their activities difficult to spot. Kimmel has become a prominent advocate for raising awareness about trafficking, sharing his experiences at anti-trafficking events nationwide. He urges fellow truck drivers to be vigilant, as they are uniquely positioned to help combat this issue.
Kimmel’s actions not only saved one girl from a harrowing fate but also contributed to the broader effort to make it harder for traffickers to operate in the shadows, ultimately making the world a safer place.