Jimmy John’s Founder Delivers New Car to Driver Who Rescued Ailing Vet After Wrong Number
Jimmy John Liautaud, the founder of the sandwich empire, flew from Chicago to Columbus, Nebraska, so he could personally deliver a thank-you gift to Zach Hillmer after a wrong number—dialed out of desperation—became the perfectly right number.
Hillmer made international headlines last week after a woman accidentally dialed Jimmy John’s in a frantic attempt to call her brother’s case worker. Not knowing she had dialed the sandwich restaurant, the desperate woman went on to say that her brother was very sick and couldn’t afford an ambulance or taxi. Without hesitating, Hillmer volunteered to bring the ailing veteran to the hospital.
After being successfully treated for his ailments, his sister made a Facebook post praising Hillmer for his compassion during their time of need. As the story was picked up by news outlets in the aftermath of the incident, Hillmer mentioned that he drives a 27-year-old Chevrolet Cavalier in need of repairs.
As a means of rewarding Hillmer for his good deed, Liautaud presented the 38-year-old employee with a brand new Ford Escape.
The new automobile was decorated with Jimmy John’s decals, which Hillmer was free to remove, but the delighted driver says he’ll definitely be keeping them on.
“I don’t even have the words to say really,” Hillmer told the Columbus Telegram. “It was an amazing thing when Jimmy called and told me what he was going to do. It’s pretty emotional for me—I’ve only ever seen pictures of him, interviews on TV.”
It hasn’t only been emotional for Hillmer. Employees at the company’s corporate headquarters say they’ve been moved almost to tears from all the phone calls from veterans across the country praising Zach and his manager, Jason Voss, for making that very special delivery.