The Truckload Carriers Association (TCA) recently recognized a pair of “Highway Angels” – two heroic truck drivers who went above and beyond the call of duty in 100-degree heat to rescue a couple inside a burning vehicle.
Mark Olsen and Brad Wenneberg, both with L.W. Miller Transportation, were in their trucks traveling southbound on I-15 in Utah, 2 miles from the Arizona border, when Olsen (in the lead) spotted smoke rising from a motor home on the side of the road.
Olsen used his CB radio to alert Wenneberg of the situation. The two men pulled over, jumped out of their cabs and unloaded their fire extinguishers on the fire, but the high temperature outside made it impossible to squelch the flames.
The men then turned their attention to the couple inside, moving the hysterical wife into the care of nearby motorists who had pulled over to help. Then, the quick-thinking duo helped the husband unhook and push the pick-up truck that was being towed by the RV to a safe distance.
Huge flames were quickly consuming the RV, exploding its tires and becoming an increasing danger to those nearby. So Olsen and Wenneberg decided to halt oncoming traffic, including one impatient motorist who tried to squeeze by. Just as Wenneberg stopped him, the propane tank on the RV blew up and shot a fireball across the road, catching the median on fire.
Aside from their pickup, the couple – who had just sold their house and moved all their possessions into the RV – lost everything in the fire including credit cards, money and cell phones.
The kind drivers pooled all the cash they had – $80 – for the couple to stay in a hotel, but they refused it. They later wrote a grateful email to L.W. Miller Transportation calling the them “true American heroes.”
When Olsen was asked why he stopped to help the couple he said, “That’s my nature. It was pretty scary, but whether driving a truck or driving a car, I will stop and help someone if they need it. We did what we could for [the couple]… at least we managed to save their pickup. That’s something.”
Olsen and Wenneberg – with a total of 25 years experience and both from Utah – were nominated to be Highway Angels by members of their company and were rewarded with certificates, patches and label pins.
To read more about TCA’s Highway Angel program, click here.
If you know a Highway Angel that deserves recognition, click here to access the nomination form.