On March 22, 2012, at 8:10 pm, Fed Ex Freight driver Kenny Cass was driving along Martin Luther King Blvd. in Portland, Oregon when he witnessed a pickup truck rear end an 18-wheeler. The pickup truck became wedged the truck’s trailer.
Cass stopped his truck in the road to block traffic and called 911.
Cass then got out of his truck and ran to check on the pickup truck driver. The driver was bloody and disoriented but conscious and talking on his cell phone. Cass next ran to check on the driver of the 18-wheeler. That driver was a little dazed but otherwise okay.
After checking on both drivers, Cass set up reflective triangles to warn oncoming drivers. When he was finished, Cass went back to check on the drivers. As he approached the pickup truck, he noticed there was smoke coming from beneath it.
Fearing a possible fire, Cass broke out the pickup truck’s window and pulled out the driver. He took the man away from the scene and made him sit down.
After depositing the man in a secure spot, Cass went back to get the other driver to safety.
As Cass was leading the semi driver to safety, Cass saw the dazed pickup truck driver running down the road toward oncoming traffic. Cass had to chase the man down and drag him back out of harm’s way.
Motorists were passing by, no one stopped to help.
Twenty minutes after the wreck occurred, paramedics arrived and began attending to the crash victims. By that time, the truck driver had calmed down and was able to drive her truck a few miles down the road to park it.
I’m willing to help anyone and everyone when I can, said Cass, who has spent 24 years in the U.S. Coast Guard and is used to keeping calm and acting quickly in stressful situations. I’m a people person, which is why I enjoy training new drivers and helping them accomplish whatever they set out to do. When one of my students gets a CDL, it makes me feel good. I know that I did my job properly.
“For his efforts that day, Cass has received a Highway Angel lapel pin, certificate, and patch. FedEx Freight also received a certificate acknowledging that one of its drivers is a Highway Angel. In addition, Cass has been approved for a FedEx 2012 Humanitarian Award, which will be presented to him later this year,” TCA announced.
Truck drivers are everyday heros and the TCA Highway Angel program recognizes truck drivers who have gone above and beyond the call of duty to help others. Read the stories of other Highway Angels here: