On the evening of November 22, 2013, Frito-Lay truck driver Thomas L. Colston was driving eastbound on I-20 toward Dallas, Texas. The roads were slippery.
Colston glanced in his mirror and noticed a pickup coming up on him. The pickup appeared to be out of control. Colston steered out of the pickup’s path. He watched the pickup fly past him, hit a wall, go airborne and then land upside down. In the process, the out-of-control pickup hit another pickup truck and tractor-trailer.
Colston stopped his own truck and dialed 911. He then got out to help and ran to check on the affected vehicles. The occupants of the truck were okay, but the first pickup was on fire.
The man inside the blazing pickup was screaming, “Help me! Get me out!” He was trapped inside pickup.
A bystander grabbed a fire extinguisher and threw it to Colston, who used it to quell the blaze.
Authorities then arrived and took over the scene.
Colston, a former police officer said he has experience with emergency situations. “People freeze in their footsteps when they see something happen like this,” he said. “But I could hear the guy screaming for help… it would have been very bad for him if we hadn’t gotten those flames out.”
For his efforts, Colston was awarded the TCA’s Highway Angel award.