The Truckload Carriers Association (TCA) recently named its newest Highway Angel for helping another truck driver whose safety was in serious jeopardy after a horrific accident.
April 21, 2014, William Hunt, from Oil City, Pennsylvania, was driving along Route 59 just outside of Warren, Pennsylvania when he saw a tanker truck on the side of the road in a ditch. The tractor had flipped onto its side, dragging the tanker trailer along the rail and ripping holes in the top of the tank in the process. Searing asphalt was quickly leaking from the upside-down trailer.
When Hunt approached the cab, he found the truck driver pinned in by the crushed roof, with only the man’s left hand sticking out of the truck. As he checked his wrist for a pulse, the injured man began pleading for help.
“I tried and tried, but I just couldn’t get him out,” said Hunt, recalling what happened that day. “I kept assuring him that help was coming. There were maybe 8,000 gallons of asphalt leaking – it was incredibly hot and all around us. I didn’t know what else to do, so I grabbed a shovel from my truck and dug small trenches in the dirt to keep the asphalt from getting on him and burning him.”
Hunt stayed with the man until emergency personnel took over. It took more than 2.5 hours for them to cut the driver free.
Hunt has been a professional driver for more than 40 years and currently drives for Crossett, Inc., of Warren, Pennsylvania. When asked about his role in the incident, Hunt said he tried to stay calm and think clearly.
“My company has taught us don’t get excited – fall back on your training and do what needs to be done,” he said.
TCA recognized Hunt as a Highway Angel and presented the brave driver with a certificate, patch, label pin and truck decal. Crossett, Inc., also received a certificate acknowledging that one of its drivers is a Highway Angel.