TEAM DRIVERS RECOGNIZED FOR ASSISTING AT SCENE OF FATAL ACCIDENT
The Truckload Carriers Association (TCA) has added two new Highway Angels to its ranks: professional team drivers David Murray and Rick Wiltsey, who drive for Pegasus Transportation of Jeffersonville, Indiana.
The incident took place at about 2 a.m. on August 2, 2011. The team had just switched drivers, and Wiltsey was now in the driver’s seat for the next segment of their trip to San Antonio to pick up a load. He had just merged onto I-10 in Wilcox, Arizona, when he spotted something in the darkness lying across the road. It was a tractor-trailer that had somehow crossed the median from the other side, rolled over, and was now completely blocking the eastbound lanes of the highway. He and Murray were the first motorists to come upon the wreck.
Since the road was not passable, Wiltsey brought the truck to a stop near the overturned trailer. Just then, a pick-up truck came from behind and passed Murray and Wiltsey. Apparently, the driver did not see the accident up ahead, and after passing crashed directly into the trailer.
Murray and Wiltsey immediately ran to the scene. In the front seat of the pick-up, they discovered a man and a two-year old girl who appeared to be dead. Three children in the back seat were still alive. Murray and Wiltsey helped the children get out of the pick-up, and Wiltsey stayed with them until another motorist later came over to help.
Meanwhile, a woman in the front seat needed the drivers’ attention. She was alive, but pinned in place by mangled pieces of the truck. “Her seat was pushed up toward the dashboard. She couldn’t breathe,” said Murray. “Her foot was jammed, and she was trapped.” Although they tried to move the seat, Murray and Wiltsey were unable to free her. Eventually, authorities were able to cut her out of the pick-up, and both drivers assisted with loading the woman and one of the children onto a medical transport helicopter.
Both drivers received a Highway Angel lapel pin, certificate and patch for his efforts. The company also received a certificate acknowledging two of its drivers as Highway Angels.
Since the program’s inception in August 1997, hundreds of drivers have been recognized as Highway Angels for the exemplary kindness, courtesy, and courage they have displayed while on the job.