Finished with her long shift, OTE rest area maintenance technician Danielle “Dani” Hawthorne sank gratefully into the seat of her partner’s car. Chatting about the day’s events, they left Dani’s workplace (the Baldock rest area near Wilsonville) and eased into heavy traffic on northbound Interstate 5 several minutes later.
A few car lengths in front of their vehicle, the couple spotted a motorist weaving in and out of traffic and in general, driving erratically. Dani and her partner speculated the driver was under the influence of alcohol or drugs, and followed at a safe distance. Dani used her mobile to phone 911 and report a possible DUI.
As Dani hung up from emergency dispatch, she observed the unstable driver enter Baldock’s northbound rest area. The vehicle swerved, ran over a curb, narrowly missed a pedestrian, and halted abruptly.
Dani and her partner pulled next to the stopped vehicle, and Dani ran over to see if she could help. The confused driver told Dani that he was in the middle of a diabetic episode. She asked him if sugary food might work to stabilize him. The driver nodded, and after contacting emergency dispatch for medical support, Dani was back in minutes carrying donuts. She waited with the driver until emergency medical technicians arrived.
Rest area technicians are responsible for much of the hidden magic that is required to maintain a rest area in tip-top shape. A technician’s many thankless tasks involve cleaning, sanitizing, and stocking public restrooms, mowing lawns, cutting brush, emptying trashcans, and keeping public walkways clear of debris.
OTE knows that without employees such as Dani, our mission to serve the traveling public would be hollow indeed. Oregon Travel Experience salutes Dani Hawthorne, for her commitment to the safety of Oregon’s motorists and for her daily work. Dani’s participation in the welfare of an unknown motorist occurred after her official shift had already ended. Thank you, Dani. In sacrificing your own family time, you ensured the health and well-being of a fellow Oregonian.