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GoTriangle Vanpool Driver Shelia Lassiter Recognized for Saving Lives

Sheila Lassiter

Research Triangle Park, NC  – All aboard GoTriangle Vanpool 5817 last November 16th were thankful that Shelia Lassiter was behind the wheel as she calmly and safely moved the vehicle off the road after a deer crashed through her windshield. Though their morning commute began like any other, it certainly didn’t end that way.

On Feb. 22, GoTriangle General Manager Jeff Mann presented Lassiter, a state employee, with the GoTriangle “Above and Beyond” Award, commending her sound judgment and composure. “This was an unexpected and extremely stressful incident, but Shelia’s quick thinking led to a safe outcome,” Mann said. “We applaud Sheila’s response, as she not only saved herself and her passengers, but also protected the lives of commuters in surrounding vehicles.”

At approximately 6:40 am., Lassiter and two passengers were travelling westbound on I-40 when a deer attempted to leap across the road near Jones Sausage Road, colliding with and shattering the van’s windshield.  As the deer came through the windshield and landed inside the vehicle, Lassiter maintained control and pulled over without further incident.

All three passengers were transported to WakeMed Garner Healthplex, where one was treated for minor injuries.

In a letter of recognition, Raleigh Police Department Senior Officer V. M. Doxbeck praised Lassiter and her lifesaving response. “Your actions are duly recognized and appreciated,” he said, “and you are commended for maintaining composure and good decision-making while in an extreme stress situation and keeping those around you safe and protected.”

Vanpooling is part of GoTriangle’s GoTogether campaign that encourages commuters to share their ride and expenses, reducing individual costs, environmental impacts, and congestion on the roads. Similar to a traditional carpools, GoTriangle provides the vehicle, insurance, and maintenance for a low monthly fare.

GoTriangle offers safe, reliable, and easy-to-use travel choices including bus, bike, walking, carpool, and vanpool.

Learn more about GoTriangle’s vanpool program here or contact the Vanpool Manager at 919-485-7462 or by email at

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Phyllis Coley
Phyllis D. Coley is CEO/Publisher of Spectacular Magazine and Host of Spectacular Magazine Radio Show. With a B.A. in English from NCCU, the Durham native began her professional career as Promotions/Marketing Director for New York City’s WKTU-FM. While at the radio station, Coley discovered the rap group Kid ‘n Play and managed them for five years, guiding their music and movie careers to success. Moving back to Durham, Coley produced a nationally syndicated television show, The Electric Factory, while working as News Director for FOXY 107/104. In April 2002, recognizing a void in highlighting the achievements of African Americans, she started her own business publishing ACE Magazine. Coley launched Spectacular Magazine in November 2004. Recognizing the lack of pertinent and truthful information, Coley began Spectacular Magazine Radio Show in March 2009. Coley is the organizer of Durham's Annual MLK/Black History Month Parade and the Annual North Carolina Juneteenth Celebration. She currently serves on Central Children’s Home Board of Directors, Raleigh Chamber of Commerce’s Board of Advisors, as Immediate Past Secretary of the Durham Rotary Club Board of Directors and is one of the founding members of the Triangle United Way’s African American Leadership Initiative.

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