On the afternoon of December 11, 2012, Bison Transport driver John Lilley was traveling west on Highway 3, between Revelstoke and Golden, British Columbia, when Lilley got stuck in a long line of traffic that was stopped because of a wreck.
Someone called out for help over the CB. Lilley says he heard a request called out for volunteers with medical training. Lilley, who 23 years of experience as a rescue medical technician, answered the call for help.
An officer picked up Lilley at his truck and took him to the scene of the crash.
The accident was horrific- the driver of a 4-door car lost control of the vehicle while entering a tunnel. His car and another vehicle hit head-on. The impact peeled open the side of the car, from the headlights to the back door. Five people were inside the car.
Lilley says the scene was gruesome, but he told himself, “I can do this.”
Lilley focused his efforts on the driver, who was bleeding internally and externally. A helicopter was on its way, but because of the dense fog, it took 40 minutes for it to arrive. During that time, Lilley did his best to maintain the driver’s weakening pulse. Despite his best efforts, the man succumbed to his injuries.
Filled with emotion, Lilley recalls the day, I tried everything I possibly could,” he said, sadly. “I don’t regret what I tried. I know I did my best.”
For his efforts, Lilley was named the Truckload Carrier Association’s Highway Angel. He was awarded a Highway Angel pin, certificate and patch.
To learn more about the Highway Angel program or to nominate a driver, please visit http://www.truckload.org/highway-angel.