DRIVER RESCUES STALLED FAMILY DURING WINTER STORM
The Truckload Carriers Association has named Demetrius Fields, from Atlanta, Georgia, a Highway Angel for stopping to help a family after their vehicle spun out in the middle of a busy highway during a severe winter storm.
Fields was driving through Pennsylvania on December 16 as Winter Storm Gail was closing in. He was enroute to Indiana as Pennsylvania was preparing to close the interstates as conditions worsened. “It was coming down heavy, pretty much a whiteout,” he recalled. “You could barely see the hash lines on the road.” As Fields drove along, he saw a vehicle up ahead spin out, hit the guardrail, and end up in the middle of the roadway. “He probably hit black ice,” shared Fields. Acting swiftly, he pulled to the emergency lane and put on his flashers. A Swift truck driver pulled over at about the same time. “We both jumped out. There was heavy traffic coming up behind, especially trucks. We wanted to get the vehicle off the roadway because of the poor visibility.” Fields and the Swift driver worked quickly to help the driver out of the vehicle and the three of them risked their safety to push the vehicle into the emergency lane. “We then got the driver’s wife and kids out and put the kids in my cab to keep them warm,” shared Fields. It took first responders over 30 minutes to arrive.
“God put me and that Swift driver in the right place at the right time,” said Fields. “If I was in that situation, I would hope someone would do the same for me.” The driver later contacted Hirschbach Motor Lines to say that the experience with Fields had given him a newfound respect for truck drivers. “A lot of people don’t acknowledge what we do,” he said. “We’re out here day in and day out, running up and down the highway trying to make sure people across the country are taken care of. It’s a lot more than holding a steering wheel. It’s 90 percent mental and 10 percent physical.”
Fields has been driving for five years and was also a trainer for a couple years. “I enjoyed it,” he concluded. “My very first student was my father. It was supposed to be a one and done but I enjoyed it so I kept doing it.” He says he does this work for his wife and four children.
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.