01/31/10 — Snow Day - This Papa John's driver had no fear Saturday

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Snow Day - This Papa John's driver had no fear Saturday

By Kenneth Fine
Published in News on January 31, 2010 2:30 AM

When Brandon LeClerc's phone rang early Saturday morning, he didn't hesitate.

"(My boss) called me up at 9:30. ... I said, 'I'm getting dressed. I'll be there,'" Brandon said. "He said, 'Yeah, I figured you're one of the only ones stupid enough to get out there in this.' I said, 'I'm a delivery driver. I love to drive. Snow just makes it more fun.'"

The LaGrange resident was one of many who forged less-than-ideal road conditions to make it to work this weekend.

Only for Brandon, work meant spending the majority of his time on the clock on the very roads some local officials characterized as "nasty."

"We'll get out here when it's like this," Brandon said of Papa John's drivers. "But when the sun goes down and the ice sets in, we probably won't stay open much longer."

By just after 1 p.m., the young man had been on seven deliveries.

His eighth took him to an apartment complex just off Cashwell Drive.

And as he made his way down Royall Avenue, he explained that the hardest part about driving in wintery conditions is dealing with other drivers.

"This right here is the problem," he said, pointing to the SUV in front of him on Royall. "People want to drive really slow ... and it's not even that bad out here."

Brandon's small Honda seemed to be handling the roads better than others making their way across town.

Like the pick-up truck at the intersection of Royall and Spence avenues that nearly drove off the road after its tires began spinning as soon as the light turned green.

"As long as he doesn't smack into my Honda, I don't care what he does," Brandon said.

He was, after all, confident in his own ability to complete an accident-free day on the job.

"Don't be shy about pulling into your parking space," he called out moments later as he made his way through the complex where he had just delivered a pizza to Rafaeo Rodriguez. "I'm not going to be shy about pulling around."

After a few near-slides, the Honda, and the man commanding it, were on their way to their next -- and final stop -- of this particular run.

"We're heading to New Hope Road," Brandon said. "Right across from Eastern Wayne High School."

And along the way, more timid drivers got Brandon thinking.

On Central Heights Road, traffic was relatively heavy.

But the cars weren't sticking to their lanes.

"That's one thing that sucks about being a pizza delivery driver: People don't know how to drive," Brandon said.

And he felt his statement was validated a moment later, when he drove past an abandoned car nearly upside down in a ditch.

"Yeah, they are definitely in the ditch," Brandon said. "They're going to tear it up trying to get out."

But this driver was certain he would avoid a similar fate.

"You just have to know how to drive," he said. "And I do. I love it."