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4 million miles and counting, Walmart truck driver recognized for safety

Willie Nelson ain’t got nothing on James Luckett, a driver for the Brookhaven Walmart Distribution Center who has logged more than 4 million miles without a scratch.

And with a $10,000 check presented to him Wednesday by his appreciative bosses, Luckett is on the road again.

Luckett, who lives in Jackson, is one of only 11 drivers nationwide who can say they have 4 million safe miles under their belt. Of those drivers, only eight are currently active, and he is the first in the region.

“He makes my job really easy,” Safety Manager Mary Bowman said.

Luckett knew that he would be recognized — and he knew he would receive a big check for his dedication to safety — but what he didn’t know was that friends and family, highway troopers and colleagues would all gather to party in his honor at the Walmart Distribution Center.

“I didn’t realize we would have a crowd like this,” he said. “I thought we’d have maybe four or five people. I think my wife had a lot to do with this.”

Capt. Dennis Stevenson and Master Sgt. Michael Purnell from the Mississippi Highway Patrol also attended to give Luckett an MHP hat and make him an honorary MHP trooper.

“We don’t give these to just anybody,” Stevenson said, pointing to the logo on the MHP cap. “Most of the time you have to go to a 22-week school in order to wear this patch. But in dedication to what you do, we want to make you an honorary highway patroller.”

Luckett said that law enforcement are the first to people to call if he has issues on the road.

“They’ve been mighty nice to me,” Luckett said. “If I need some help on the highway, guess who I call? The law. I promise you. You might say, ‘Oh, Lord!’ That’s good. That’s No. 1. But who else are you going to call? Law enforcement, y’all are loved my me and my family.”

According to Luckett, the key to safe driving on a long trip mostly comes down to maintaining focus.

“Stay focused and be aware,” Luckett said. “You’ve got to have a good attitude. That will keep you focused.”

Vice President of Transportation Bryan Most said at the party that Luckett was a consistent reminder in the company that safety is possible.

“No matter the changes, one thing has been consistent,” he said. “Luckett drives safely. So we appreciate you for that, sir.”