Oceanside Trucker wins "2015 Road Warrior Award" and $10,000 Gra - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Oceanside Trucker wins "2015 Road Warrior Award" and $10,000 Grand Prize

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SAN DIEGO (CBS 8) - Erik, a husband and father, has been a professional driver for 43 years and logged seven million miles. About two years ago, he suffered a stroke, causing paralysis and temporary loss of motor skills.

Although he was hospitalized for several months, he was determined to return to the road. Erik made a full recovery, regaining his motor skills and learning how to walk again, and now is happily back driving his truck again.

The Road Warrior program is a celebratory contest hosted by Pilot Flying J that honors professional drivers who demonstrate hard work, generosity and bravery.

Erik was selected out of a pool of hundreds of contestants to be the Road Warrior winner for the Pacific region. Erik was honored with a $1,000 prize, and squared off against four other regional winners for the $10,000 grand prize through nearly three weeks of voting.

Erik's family and friends flocked to the voting page to help make him the Grand Prize winner of the 2015 Road Warrior national contest.

Pilot Flying J, the largest operator of travel centers in North America.

"We couldn't be any prouder - or more thankful - for the hard work and sacrifice that Erik Michaels and his fellow road warriors exhibit daily," said Ken Parent, chief operating officer, Pilot Flying J. "We received submissions from hundreds of deserving professional drivers, and it was very inspiring to read their stories. Erik Michaels is an excellent representation of the professional driving community."

Michaels, who was nominated by his daughter Anna, has been a professional driver for 43 years and currently drives for Oversize Parcel Service delivering furniture. Roughly two years ago, Michaels endured a major stroke while on the job, causing temporary paralysis and loss of motor skills.

After months of hospital stays, Michaels embarked on the long road to recovery, which was comprised of countless doctor visits and physical therapy sessions. Just recently, Michaels made a full recovery and is back to doing what he loves most - driving professionally.

"With so many worthy candidates, I'm amazed and humbled that my peers selected me to receive this honor. I tip my cap to all of them," said Michaels. "After months of adversity, I can't even begin to describe how welcomed this news is. I would like to thank my daughter for nominating me, my peers for their votes and Pilot Flying J for recognizing the hard work of all professional drivers."

To learn more about Pilot Flying J visit pilotflyingj.com or Facebook.com/pilottravelcenters. To join the Road Warrior conversation, follow #RoadWarrior.

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