In the early morning hours of June 29, 2012, Yanke Group of Companies team drivers Laruent Pennacchio and Olegas Milevski were traveling along a remote stretch of Highway 17 in northern Ontario, Canada. Pennacchio was at the wheel, and Milevski was asleep in the bunk.
Pennacchio rounded a sharp curve and saw a crashed vehicle with a woman and two children standing beside it.
Pennacchio slowed and pulled his truck off to the side of the road and woke up Milevski. The two men grabbed some gear and headed toward the crash site.
As the men approached the car, they were surprised to find a large moose lying on the ground.
The men noticed the father was still in the car who appeared to be injured and was not moving. The mom was on the phone with 911, trying to give the operator information about the location of the wreck, but the woman was unfamiliar with the area and was struggling to give a definitive location.
Pennacchio was able to help by providing information about the location.
The drivers worked to calm down the woman and asked her if they could take her two children into the cab of their truck to stay warm until emergency personnel could arrive. The woman consented and Pennacchio took the children to the warmth and safety of the truck.
Milevski waited at the accident scene with the woman for emergency responders to arrive and take over.
A constable for the Ontario Provincial Police wrote to Yanke, praising the men’s efforts, “I would like to thank your drivers [for] their assistance at the scene,” he wrote. “In this isolated section of highway — and certainly after dark — few people are willing to assist people in need. Cell phone service is spotty, which delays the response time of emergency crews, so any initial help is important.”
For their act of kindness and service, Milevski and Pennacchio have been awarded the TCA’s Highway Angel Award.
For more information or to nominate a driver for a Highway Angel award, please visit the TCA’s website.