PROFESSIONAL TRUCK DRIVER SAVES MOTORISTS FROM BURNING CAR FOLLOWING CRASH
The Truckload Carriers Association has named Christopher Lloyd, from Forest, Mississippi, a Highway Angel for stopping at the scene to rescue two motorists after their car slammed into a utility pole and erupted in flames.
It was 3 a.m. one morning in late November and Lloyd was driving along a surface street on his way to the FedEx hub in Nashville when he came upon a single–vehicle crash. A car had struck a galvanized power pole at a high rate of speed. When Lloyd arrived moments later, the engine compartment was completely engulfed in flames. “There were other vehicles pulling up and watching, taking pictures, but not getting out to help,” Lloyd shared with TCA. Without a moment to spare, he safely pulled over and called 911 then grabbed his fire extinguisher and jumped out of his cab. “I couldn’t get the flames out completely,” he recalled. He tried the doors but found them locked. “I ran back to the truck for a winch bar and my 10-pound hazmat extinguisher to finish putting the fire out and to bust out the windows.”
The car’s cabin was filled with smoke. Other people now stopped to help. Lloyd found the female driver pinned behind the wheel. “She was unresponsive, but breathing,” he said. “The male passenger ended up in the back seat and was in pretty bad shape. I checked and found a pulse and he was breathing.” He directed another person to hold the man’s neck still and not to move him. Lloyd says that since the fire was extinguished that was the safest thing to do until emergency responders could arrive. The driver and passenger were both transported in extremely critical condition. Lloyd later learned that he was the only one who called 911. A police officer told him the pair would have burned alive if it weren’t for him.
“That wasn’t my normal run that night,” said Lloyd. “The driver that usually takes that run had broken down. The dispatcher called and asked if I could take it. I was delayed by over an hour, but somehow it all lined up for me to be there at that precise moment in time to hopefully save their lives.” He hasn’t been able to get an update on their condition. “I hope the best for them,” he said.
Lloyd shared that he became a volunteer firefighter at the age of 16 and went to a fire-fighting academy. He later joined the Coast Guard. “The night of the fire, it all came flooding back . . . how to manage a scene,” he said. “Just like it was yesterday.”
TCA has presented him with a certificate, patch, lapel pin, and truck decals. His employer has also received a certificate acknowledging their driver as a Highway Angel.
Since the program’s inception in August 1997, nearly 1,300 professional truck drivers have been recognized as Highway Angels for the exemplary kindness, courtesy, and courage they have displayed while on the job.