A truck driver is being called a hero after saving the lives of two children who had been involved in a horrific accident.
On August 11, 2013, Kelle’s Transport Service driver David Ragland was driving westbound on Interstate 40 near Jackson, Tennessee when he saw an eastbound car run off the road and crash.
Ragland immediately pulled over his truck and ran over to help.
When he reached the crash, he found that the badly mangled car had landed upside down and smoke was “outing out of the engine and firewall,” the TCA said in a press release.
Ragland heard crying and screaming coming from inside the car.
By now, several other motorists had stopped to help the crash victims, so Ragland ran back to his truck to grab his fire extinguisher and worked to smother the flames.
Another motorist began using a knife to cut a path through the car to the backseat, where the sound of crying was coming from.
When he had exhausted his fire extinguisher, Ragland grabbed an extinguisher from a trooper.
The other motorist finally reached the passengers and announced that he had found someone alive.
“Ragland ran to his side and held the tree branches clear to allow him more room to maneuver. The man was able to pull a baby out (still strapped to his car seat) and pass him to Ragland, who in turn carried him to a bystander standing a safe distance away from the wreck. Eventually, the fire and rescue personnel took over, but during the chaos, the man who had cut the child out of the wreckage had slipped away quietly,” the TCA reported.
First responders then pulled a second child from the wreckage. Sadly, the children’s parents and a sibling died in the crash.
Ragland remained at the scene and gave his statement to the police.
Ragland remained humble about his involvement in the crash and didn’t tell anyone what happened until his company announced a $100 Good Samaritan contest.
Ragland said he told his story, because he wanted to donate the contest money, along with some of his own money, to the two children who survived the crash.
News of Ragland’s good dead and of his intent to use the prize money spread, and soon, Kelle’s Transport employees were making donations to the children. The employees donated $5,000 to the survivors of the crash.
Police called a press conference and the checks were given to the children, and Ragland was able to meet the children he helped save.
Ragland is a U.S. Army veteran and has been a truck driver for three years. He said that helping save the crash victims is “probably the most important thing I’ve ever done that affected another person.”
“People talk about heroes, but we have a responsibility to stop. It’s not a choice. The crash happened right in front of me. I just wish we could have done more,” he said.
For his bravery and generosity, Ragland was honored with the Truckload Carriers Highway Angel award.
To nominate a driver or learn more about the program and its honorees, visit the Highway Angel Web page at http://www.truckload.org/Highway-Angelor Facebook page at http://on.fb.me/tcanews. For additional information, contact TCA at (703) 838-1950 or [email protected].