June 5, 2023

STEPPING UP TO SERVE: Trooper breaks the sound barrier to help stranded deaf motorists

Therese Apel

Trooper Andre Lloyd helps a stranded motorist with a blowout Saturday.

On Saturday, Trooper Andre Lloyd was recently doing his patrol on I-55 in the Brookhaven District when he came across a broken down vehicle on the side of the road near mile marker 28.

As he approached, he could see that the vehicle was up on a jack, and that they were having tire troubles.

Lloyd approached the drivers side of the vehicle and spoke to the driver, who responded with a non-descript sound. Lloyd said at first he wasn’t sure what that meant, but then he realized the driver was deaf. He went to his car to get his phone so the two could communicate through text.

The man told Lloyd he had someone who had gone to get a new tire, but that he was just sitting there until that point. Lloyd made sure the man had his phone number in case he needed further help.

MHP Troop M Public Information Officer Craig James said Lloyd told him his phone rang not long after and the caller simply stated, “tire,” so he returned to the place where the man was waiting. When he got there, he found two other people who were also deaf and they communicated that Walmart couldn’t replace the tire because they couldn’t get the tire off the rim.

The driver had been hammering on it, trying to fix the situation, and he was near exhaustion when Lloyd arrived. The driver handed over his tools and Lloyd exhausted himself too, working on it for about a half-hour before the tire broke free.

The driver’s friends went back to Walmart to get the tire, and seeing that they didn’t have much, Lloyd went and got sandwiches, chips, and drinks for the trio.

The next morning Lloyd went to the place where the man’s vehicle was still sitting, and while the group had stayed in a hotel overnight, they had come back and the battery was dead. They didn’t have any jumper cables, so Lloyd helped out and gave them a boost.

Lloyd told James that he always thinks about if that were his family member on the side of the road and someone was capable to help them, he hoped they would do so. A sweaty uniform is a small price to pay when helping someone in need.

Trooper Andre Lloyd helping a motorist change a tire on a trailer.

MHP’s Troop M Facebook page posted the photo of Lloyd helping the man, and someone commented underneath that just Friday afternoon, Lloyd had helped with a flat tire on their friend’s trailer, and there with the post was a photo of Lloyd, once again on the ground, “stepping up to serve.”

“This is really not the exception to the rule most of the time,” James said.

James said just last week a man was sitting in his vehicle, parked in the roadway on I-55 when a trooper stopped to check on him. He was about to be the subject of a Silver Alert, but troopers were able to get him some food and to the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Department, where his family was able to meet him and take him home.

Many thanks to Trooper Lloyd for getting caught in multiple photos multiple times “Stepping Up To Serve.”

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