Truck driver Bobby Bourne is being praised for saving a fellow driver after noticing his semi was engulfed in flames.
The Truckload Carriers Association has named Bourne a ‘Highway Angel‘ for his life-saving actions on June 7.
Bourne was taking a break around 10 a.m. at the North 40 Truck Stop off I-40 outside Holladay, Tenn when he first heard the commotion.
“It sounded like a belt on an engine slipping and squealing,” Bourne said.
After looking around the lot, he spotted a reefer that had burst into flames and immediately rushed over.
Worried that someone might be sleeping inside, Bourne started to beating on the side of the sleeper. The driver saw him through the window and Bourne yelled at him to get out of the truck.
The man was only able to grab his pants as he escaped the burning truck, leaving his shoes and phone in the cab. Moments later the axel on the tire blew.
“There just was no time,” Bourne says. “The heat was unbelievable.”
Bourne and the driver, an owner-operator from Harrisburg, Va, ran from the truck as the flames further engulfed the sleeper where he had just been.
Bourne continued to help the driver, taking pictures of the scene for him to use for insurance and making sure he was able to contact his wife.
The driver thanked Bourne for saving his life.
“I would do it again. He’s probably someone’s dad… someone’s granddad,” Bourne says. “I hope someone would do the same for me. My biggest fear is being asleep in a truck and it catching on fire and no one waking me up in time. At the end of the day, trucking is a family and we’re all out here trying to do a job. We’ve only got each other. I believe the good Lord put me in the right place at the right time.”