Carbon Express Inc driver Anthony LaGrasta was selected as the NJMTA Driver of the Year at the organization’s annual awards dinner on June 11. LaGrasta’s award marks the third consecutive year that a Carbon Express driver has earned this coveted honor. In 2014 Jacobus Hansen was selected and last year the NJMTA Driver of the Year was John Gaddy.
LaGrasta has been driving a truck for a total of 20 years. Over 20 years on the road he has accumulated in excess of 2,037,000 miles of safe driving. In addition, LaGrasta has never had an on the job injury. He has won safety awards for every company he has ever worked for.
LaGrasta said he recognizes that Safety is the number one priority on the road. “Truck drivers are professionals and therefore we have a responsibility to be the safest, most responsible people on the road,” he said.
As a seasoned professional, LaGrasta helps train new drivers for Carbon. “I always emphasize keeping a safe following distance, keeping your eyes moving, and leaving yourself an out,” he said. “Adhering to those three principles will keep you safe and accident free.”
During his 20 year truck driving career LaGrasta has demonstrated an exceptional capacity to react courageously to emergency situations he sees on the highways. One such incident was when he witnessed a motorist rollover her minivan. he parked his vehicle, approached the minivan and saw a woman trapped inside. Disregarding his own safety he quickly removed the minivan’s windshield and pulled the woman to safety.
On another occasion Anthony witnessed an accident in which a car driver had a seizure that caused him to hit a truck and then drive into the woods. The car caught fire. LaGrasta reacted by putting out the fire with his fire extinguisher and assisting the driver and passenger out of the car.
In his spare time LaGrasta enjoys four wheeling, “turning wrenches” and playing pool. He also supports and participates in events for the Wounded Warriors, the annual Polar Plunge for the Special Olympics, and the Give Back Program at his church.