American Central Transport, Inc. (ACT) truck driver Robert Phillips, of Cleburne, Texas, is being honored for his efforts to rescue an elderly couple who was trapped in their upside-down car.
On June 5, 2013, Phillips was traveling on U.S. Highway 72 near Walnut, Mississippi, on his way to Oklahoma. It was raining and visibility was poor, so Phillips slowed down.
Suddenly, Phillips saw a vehicle attempt to turn around in a drive way, but the vehicle was driving too fast for the conditions. The car flipped 4-5 feet into a ditch and came to rest upside down.
Phillips, a volunteer firefighter, turned his truck around and ran back to the crash scene.
When Phillips arrived back at the crash scene, people were attempting to open the car doors with a crowbar. Phillips joined in the efforts to retrieve the couple. The elderly couple were dangling upside down from their seat belts.
They were able to pull the man down, but the woman was responsive.
“Phillips, who used to be a volunteer firefighter, knew the woman should not be moved until any internal injuries could be assessed. When emergency personnel arrived, Phillips assisted them in removing the woman from the vehicle and stayed on the scene until the situation was under control,” the TCA reported.
When describing the incident, Phillips said, “I just did what any normal human should have done. It was a group effort, although I am still amazed that no one else from the highway stopped to help -– there were lots of vehicles whizzing by. I guess I’m just grateful that the couple is alright.”
For his selfless actions that day, Phillips, who has been driving for about two years, has been presented with a Highway Angel lapel pin, certificate, and patch. American Central Transport also received a certificate acknowledging that one of its drivers is a Highway Angel.
TCA’s Highway Angel program is sponsored by Internet Truckstop. Since the program’s inception in August 1997, hundreds of drivers have been recognized as Highway Angels for the unusual kindness, courtesy, and courage they have shown others while on the job.